Ending Silos: Counteracting Anti-Blackness and Doing Better for Generations to Come

06/10/20 09:12:am

The Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and the Native Nations Institute (NNI) stand in solidarity with those seeking justice for George Floyd, Dion Johnson, Dalvin Hollins, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and every Black person’s life who has been ripped away from their family by the unrestrained actions of institutional racism, including the discriminatory use of force by law enforcement. As allies, we know that Black lives also suffer from the racism ingrained in our governmental and institutional systems. The United States of America was founded on the genocide and erasure of our collective ancestors, which is ongoing. The anger and violence spilling into the streets is a result of centuries of violent oppression that has gone unchecked for too long.

We are committed to holding this democracy accountable for the equitable representation, protection, and promotion of all Black lives. As Indigenous staff, we call upon our Indigenous communities to examine our own perpetuation of anti-Blackness and the harms that inflicts our Afro-Indigenous/Black Native relations. As White, Latinx and other identifying staff we commit to confronting our own racist biases, both hidden and overt. Collectively, we commit to taking tangible steps to disrupt anti-Blackness in our communities and to change how we support Black peoples, communities, and initiatives.

We must listen and educate ourselves on the racist treatment felt by Black lives and engage in a dialogue of change. As a unit and as individual researchers, we commit to citing Black authors, incorporating Afro-Indigenous narratives, and developing research partnerships with Black scholars to assist in breaking down research silos.

Hundreds of years of injustice and colonization have led to the change we demand today. We hold our organization, the Udall Center and its NNI, accountable to specific actionable items as well as propose individual actions that we personally commit to enacting. We understand and affirm that our collective actions, as an organization and as individuals, must be better.

Actionable items UC/NNI commit to: 

Learn about racism & white supremacy


and participate 

and their impact on different
racial groups, starting
with Black people. 


within Indigenous Communities
in our work, scholarship, families, friends, and advocacy.


in anti-Black racism training with our peers in professional leadership positions at the national, regional, state and tribal levels. 


Demand that local 
police departments 

Advocate for the recruitment


participate in de-escalation training and eliminate racial profiling and that these actions are held accountable. of Black faculty and staff at the University of Arizona, as well as the necessary system changes needed to support and retain these individuals to promote policy scholarship and research on Black communities by Black researchers. 
from policing and investment in community health, safety, education, and other efforts based on solid public policy research.


Individual actions we can take:

Commit to a lifelong practice

Denounce acts of violence

Support Black-Owned businesses

Initiate conversations

of examining our own bias and complicity in anti-Blackness and systematic racism and taking specific steps to make changes. against Black lives and Black communities in tangible ways such as contacting government officials.
List of Tucson Black-Owned Businesses
in our families, communities, and other affiliated organizations that seek to confront racial discrimination. 

Call out anti-Blackness 

Listen to Black friends and colleagues

Offer our expertise and analytical skills


that occurs in our everyday settings. who share their experiences and be open to following up with possible actions they may suggest. in tribal government and public policy to work with Native nation partners to effectively address issues of racism, discrimination, and other related issues within our broader communities across the state. 
to the affected Black families and organizations that amplify Black voices. See list below.


Donate to affected Black families GoFundMe initiatives:

floyd family

taylor photo

mcdade photo

George Floyd Breonna Taylor Tony McDade


Donate to organizations that amplify Black voices such as:

UArizona's Black Student Union via Venmo or PayPal: BlackStudentUnionUA

Black-Led LGBTQIA+ Organizations:

The opinions expressed in this statement are solely those of the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and Native Nations Institute.