June 22, 2015

Dear ASWAD Members and Friends,

The recent events in Charleston and the Dominican Republic are chilling.  Today we are posting the statement below to our webpage.  I have also posted it to our Facebook page ("aswadiaspora").  

Some of you have shared links for donations and to statements by other organizations - thank you for this.  I encourage everyone to post these directly to our Facebook page.  The conference committee has also begun discussing ways we can engage with the people of Charleston during our conference.  As always, I find it essential that we connect the events in Charleston to the broader problem of violence against black lives around the globe.

My heart is heavy from all this but we can take some comfort in taking action.

The struggle continues.

Kim D. Butler, President


ASWAD extends its condolences to the families of those massacred at the Emmanuel A.M.E. Church on June 17, 2015.  We share in the pain of all who are suffering, but also in the outrage that anti-black violence continues to erupt in societies that continue to cling to the racism, inequality, and ignorance that constituted the very foundations on which they were built.  We condemn the institutions and policies that sanction that violence.  We recognize that the suffering of the city of Charleston is not isolated. On the same day as the shooting, the Dominican Republic imposed a deadline on hundreds of thousands of Dominicans alleged to be of Haitian origin, threatening them with deportation in a climate reminiscent of the country's 1937 massacre of Haitian-Dominicans.  And violence to black bodies, minds, and spirit continues around the world.  ASWAD exists in recognition of the interconnectedness of African peoples, a collective spirit which has been critical to our struggle.  We cannot, and will not, allow each other to stand alone.  We will take up this issue at our Charleston conference, and we encourage you to respond both personally and collectively as we continue the work of those who came before us and make a safer world for the coming generations to live and flourish.

Dr. Kim D. Butler, President
ASWAD (Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora)

ASWAD 8th Biennial Conference/Charleston, South Carolina 4-7 November 2015
Information:  http://aswadiaspora.org/aswad_2015_cfp_01.html

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