This letter reflects the opinions of the Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success. Letters to the editor do not reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.

The Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success (CCC-USS), is a partnership between educators on the Central Coast who are dedicated to creating and sustaining a system to support undocumented students in our region so that they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Our mission is to create social change to ensure educational equity for all students and build capacity to support undocumented students in our region. CCC-USS was founded in 2015 by staff and faculty at Allan Hancock College, Cal Poly and Cuesta College. Today, CCC-USS includes K-12 representatives and other community partners in San Luis Obispo and North Santa Barbara Counties.

While our primary focus is on creating support for undocumented students and students in mixed status families, we are simultaneously committed to challenging interlocking systems of oppression that impact our students and others throughout the Central Coast. As such, we are deeply disheartened and disappointed by recent events at Cal Poly where one member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity wore blackface and others dressed as “gangsters.”

We stand in solidarity with all students, staff and faculty of color who have been harmed, threatened and/or discriminated against by racism and other intersecting systems of oppression. Our goal in writing this letter is to elevate the voices of Cal Poly and other students, staff and faculty who take a stand against racism in all forms, white supremacy, xenophobia, discrimination and other forms of oppression.

We strongly encourage Cal Poly to move beyond a strategy of protecting so-called “free speech” over the safety and rights of students of color. We call on the university to be creative and to take risks to challenge the racism and white supremacy endemic to the campus.

We commit to working with Cal Poly and other partners to create platforms for social justice and educational equity in countering hate, injustice and racism. We will continue to advocate for systemic change in supporting undocumented students, students of color, woman-identified students and all marginalized students at Cal Poly SLO and in our region.

On behalf of,

The Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success

*This letter has been edited for clarity. 

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