June 2020

Bolivar Network Statement on George Floyd Murder and Recent Protests

The Bolivar Network in no uncertain terms condemns the recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police who swore an oath to serve and protect them. The unlawful pursuit and murder of Ahmaud Arbery highlights a larger concern that some law enforcement officers believe they have the unquestionable right to police Black bodies, whether they are on duty or not, active duty or retired.  These blatant acts of racism and violence are emblematic of the structural and institutional racism and oppression that America’s Black community has long endured. We seek to acknowledge similarly horrific incidents that have occurred within the Commonwealth of Virginia such as, but not limited to, the 2018 murder of biology teacher Marcus-David Peters by a Richmond police officer. 

The mission of the Bolivar Network is to form a strong and lasting Latinx/Hispanic alumni base while connecting and fostering an inclusive UVA familia. This mission is not possible if we fail to critically examine anti-Blackness within our own community. The anti-Black foundation of our colonial history, in which European colonists attempted to systematize a hierarchy of socio-racial classes to oppress both Indigenous Peoples and Africans, must be as disavowed as American racism. 

As UVA’s Latinx/Hispanic alumni, we want to emphasize the role we must play in combating anti-Blackness. We recognize and acknowledge that 1 in every 1,000 Black men in the United States is murdered at the hands of police and police violence against Black women has too often been ignored, leading to such movements as #SayHerName. We stand in solidarity with not only the Afro-Latinx members of our own community but the Black community at large in fighting systemic racism. We urge our alumni to speak out, educate themselves, and have difficult conversations with friends and family as we work together to end racial injustice.

The UVA Latinx alumni familia expands across this country and the globe and we are here to support each other and come together during these difficult times. We have compiled some resources linking to readings and action steps we strongly encourage you to explore here

Las Vidas Negras Importan. Vidas Negras Importam. Black Lives Matter.

In solidarity,

The Bolivar Network