Whose Diversity? Legal Defense Fund

$6,013 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 95 people in 33 months
JW
Janelle Wahutu
on behalf of Rahsaan Mahadeo
 MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Dear all,

As many of you know, members of the Whose Diversity? collective are currently facing sanctions by the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (OSCAI).  On February 9, 2015, members and supporters of Whose Diversity? took over Morrill Hall in an attempt to restore a sense of justice to marginalized students and members of aggrieved communities at and beyond the University of Minnesota. As a result of their courageous actions and truth telling, thirteen students were arrested, jailed and sanctioned by the University of Minnesota Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff.  

Rahsaan Mahadeo, David Melendez and the late Jesús Estrada-Perez, were the original three students facing the charges. The CCSB hearing is scheduled for Friday, December 11, at 2:30 pm. David and Rahsaan waived their right to privacy so that the hearing could be open to the public, and the administration seems to have in principle agreed to opening the hearing. David's and Rahsaan's lawyer is working with the U's Office of General Counsel (OGC) on the specifics, so at this time the location of the hearing is still to be determined. We expect, however, that the hearing room will not be able to accommodate all who would like to be there in person to support the students.

Since news broke about the additional sanctions imposed against members of Whose Diversity?, students, faculty and allies outside the academy have expressed sincere interest in lending support to the students, as well as the broader cause of affecting transformative change at the U.  An important way for folks to support is by participating in fundraising efforts to cover the attorney fees for the student’s lawyer, Tim Phillips. Tim doesn’t expect the legal fees to increase to any exorbitant cost, but he is keeping track of his hours. Because we don’t have an estimate on the total cost of the legal fees, we don’t necessarily have a target goal in mind. However, any amount counts. By pledging your financial support you are supporting the broader fight to prevent the silencing of student activism. While many of you wish to be on the front lines of this particular battle, it is also important to allow students to lead this charge. In offering a donation for the fundraiser you are standing in solidarity with many student organizers who know that they would be doing themselves and their communities (both academic and non-academic) a disservice by not trying to upset the setup.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

In solidarity.

 
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Dear friends,

Thanks to all your generous support we raised enough money to cover our attorney's costs. We just paid our attorney, Tim Phillips last week. We are grateful for the time and energy he devoted to our case. Along with the testimonies of our character witnesses, Tim delivered compelling arguments throughout the hearing, which ultimately led to us both being found not responsible. While we know that this victory is one of many required to affect transformative changes at the University of Minnesota, we hope it helps (multiply) marginalized members of this academic community feel safer voicing dissent.

In solidarity,

David and Rahsaan
+ Read More
Dear friends,

Thank you all for your generous support. We're nearly half way to our goal! We hope to see many of you at our pre-hearing rally on December 11 at 12 PM on Northrop Plaza at the University of Minnesota.

In solidarity!
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Mike Franck
33 months ago

$6,013 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 95 people in 33 months
Created November 23, 2015
JW
Janelle Wahutu
on behalf of Rahsaan Mahadeo
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