01 Jun Statement for Solidarity Against Anti-Black Racism
On Friday, May 29th, racist sentiments expressed by undergraduate members at New York University were made public. Understandably, their comments have been met with public outrage. The chapter has been placed on an interim suspension pending the results of an ongoing investigation by the International Board and university. This incident has helped bring to light an urgent need for education and training around anti-Blackness and allyship with the Black community.
The Black community is experiencing immeasurable violence and pain across our country. The unprovoked killing of George Floyd follows a disturbing pattern of disproportionate police brutality against African Americans that include Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and many more. Their deaths, and those of Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin, killed by private citizens, are tragic symptoms of rampant racism in our country and the systematic failure of our society and institutions to eradicate them.
Asian Americans are indebted to the Black community for the privileges we enjoy from their continuing sacrifices in the fight for civil rights. Since the early 1900s, Black Greek-Letter Organizations paved the way for Asian American Greek-Letter Organizations to grow and thrive in predominantly white institutions across North America and they continue to inspire us with their leadership. Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity stands in solidarity with the Black community and all who strive to dismantle the structures of racism.
We recognize our members mature in different phases of their diversity, equity, and inclusion journey. We call upon our members and community to reflect on the roots and expressions of anti-Blackness in their own lives. Listed below are a handful of ways to dive deeper into current issues affecting our community and enact social change:
- Commit to showing up as an ally for the Black community. There are more than 20 immediate actions to take that interrupt the cycle of oppression and anti-Blackness pervasive in Asian American communities.
- Connect anti-Black racism to colonialism and colorism in the community. Understand the pernicious ways the ‘model minority’ myth is used as a racial wedge between Asian Americans and African Americans.
- Call in loved ones when talking about anti-Blackness to find a mutual sense of understanding across differences. Embrace that making mistakes is part of growing.
- Write to senators and demand change. Register to vote in order to elect those who will act on criminal justice and police reform.
- Donate to causes that provide direct relief and legal support to Black families affected, such as the George Floyd Memorial Fund, the Louisville Community Bail Fund, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
As Leaders Among Men, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and our community on the ways white supremacy fragments the voices of people of color. Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity commits to:
- Host a virtual town hall with our membership this summer to facilitate hard conversations on navigating anti-Blackness sentiment within Asian American culture.
- Share resources on identifying and fighting overt and subtle forms of institutionalized racism for our chapters to incorporate into their own cultural advocacy campaigns.
- Embed allyship training within the International Fraternity’s Noble Brother Program to educate new and active members on the significance of being an active bystander.
We stand in hand in hand with the National APIDA Panhellenic Association against anti-Black racism and reaffirm our unequivocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement. We denounce the injustices of racism and anti-Blackness, and we will not tolerate the oppression of the Black community.
Zac Antonius, Executive Director
Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc.
About Lambda Phi Epsilon
Founded in 1981 at Los Angeles, California, Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. has grown to become the world’s largest Asian-interest fraternity. Lambda Phi Epsilon (ΛΦΕ, also known as LFE) aims to guide men on a lifelong discovery of authenticity and personal growth. To learn more, visit https://lambdaphiepsilon.com.