After weeks of collaboration and building plans, the MLK Living Legacy Committee of Boise State University drafted its final contract to confirm a speaking engagement from Dr Angela Davis . On December 16, 2020, this contract was polished and ready. Dr. Davis was expected to speak for the MLK Committee’s Week of Events on January 25, 2021 at 6pm on Zoom to commemorate MLK Day & Human Rights Day.
However, after a month of direct work between the student delegates of the MLK Committee and keynote speakers to finish co-creating the event, Boise State University canceled this event. The university has turned down the contract to stop the event from taking place in an attempt to deflect any bad press or criticism as a result of Dr. Davis’s speaking engagement. The university also stated this Zoom event was cancelled in response to the recent white supremacist violence across the nation’s Capitol buildings, failing to acknowledge how this cancellation only upholds white supremacy and anti-Blackness across campus & across the state.
The students, advisors, storytellers, and other vital members of the planning of this event were extremely heartbroken and enraged by the continual lack of support via Boise State University's administration. All parties involved knew, in this time of heightened exposure to racist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic (+) public attacks, the wisdom of this event and Dr. Davis was profoundly needed. Boise State University has continually allowed minoritized people to be attacked by ideological and physical intimidation & violence.
Fortunately, our community is abundant. A local non-profit in Boise, Idaho eagerly volunteered to take on the contract and support the long-existing visions for this event. Dr. Davis has agreed to appear virtually on January 25th at 6PM (MT) to offer her keynote, now coordinated by Black community organizers. We need your help.
We are asking our community to raise the speaking fee for Dr. Angela Davis so our event may continue despite systemic barriers between Black folks and thriving. We need to collect $15,000 for Dr. Davis alone; we need more to support the work of organizers, translators, captioners, and accessibility.
This is an ask from the BIPOC organizers in Boise, Idaho who made this opportunity possible, as well as the keynote speakers and comrades who worked to build an intergenerational space of story-sharing, joy, and love with Dr. Angela Davis.
This space is imperative to our strides for collective liberation; we need you, your family, and all your homies to support this fundraiser in order for us to reclaim our opportunity.
With deep love and gratitude, we appreciate your support.
Aside 1: We condemn Boise State’s cancellation of this event and their ongoing failure to uplift and support minoritzed people.
For further information, please reference the Boise State University statement to the MLK Living Legacy Committee on January 12/13, 2021 (only 12 days before the event):
“Given the historically unprecedented context, and to prioritize safety for students and our community we won’t be hosting events that may increase exposure of our students or others as targets. While we believe that the university is a place where people should come together to discuss polarizing issues and be presented with new ideas, that at this moment the risk is too great to host these kinds of events.”
At the Indigenous Idaho Alliance, we believe, unequivocally that Indigenous Sovereignty and Black Liberation are interconnected. When one of us rises, we all rise. We support the movement for Black Lives. We support the movements for Immigrant rights and paths to citizenship. We could go on and on about our decolonized lens of the world and community- building.
This is the month, however, that our liberal, progressive relatives join the FB ranks in posting many a whitewashed quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr without having read in any depth or breadth of his work.
This is what we task you with: change your trajectory and change the way you show up. If you want to quote Dr. King - do so, but also read the "Letter from Birmingham Jail." If you want to quote Dr. King do so, but also donate to Black community organizers truly dedicated to carrying his legacy forward. Quote him, but also DO something.
We are supporting the local Black community organizers in their effort to bring Dr. Angela Davis to a virtual space commemorating Dr. King AND sharing stories to propel us into the future of radical inclusion and liberation. Join the event and also donate. Your contributions support her speaker fee, the labor of organizers, and logistics behind putting this together.
Together we rise.
(@IndigenousIdaho on Facebook)
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