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Statements And Expressions of Support

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We, the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change (CCUSC) at the University of Illinois Chicago, express our grave concern about the escalation of U.S.-backed Israeli violence against Palestinians, the widely circulated genocidal rhetoric being deployed, and the ripple effect of this physical and ideological violence in the lives of our Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim students, staff, and faculty here in Chicago. We affirm that the loss of life is horrific. We witness and we denounce the language Israeli officials have used and its repetition by U.S. administration, politicians, government, and media. This rhetoric blames the victim, portraying the state of Israel as an innocent victim and casts Palestinians as terrorists, blaming Palestinian civilians for the violence being visited on them. The CCUSC reject the erasure of history and context in US political and media discourse and affirm the importance of recognizing the historical and ongoing fundamental asymmetry of power at the root of the current conflict.

 

The CCUSC center our students’ voices and lived experiences. We stand by students our students, who are worried about their loved ones in Palestine, whose family homes are being wiped out, whose dispossession has been ongoing for the past 75 years. We affirm their pain and anger and support their ability to share their stories. We amplify the voices of students who are being called “terrorists” or criticized for wearing their kuffiyahs, students who are harassed and doxed for speaking up about Palestinian rights, students who are worried to speak up lest they get blacklisted or attacked or prevented from visiting their families in Palestine. We hold space for students caught in a situation of fundamental contradictions–students who are being asked to prove their humanity by condemning resistance in their homeland while watching their colleagues being celebrated for supporting resistance in Ukraine.

 

We affirm that our Centers are safe, brave, and inclusive spaces for collaboration, engaged learning, student service, and community building that center social justice and validate the lived experiences of historically marginalized communities.

To learn more about or get support from the CCUSC, visit diversity.uic.edu/ccusc and for educational resources follow: