Latinx writers caucus statement in support of the black lives matter movement
The Latinx Writers Caucus Leadership Team stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We call for justice for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dominique Rem'mie Fells, Tony McDade, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Riah Milton, Ahmaud Arbery, and the multitudes of Black lives that have been murdered by police and centuries of intersectional oppression rooted in white supremacy. The Latinx Writers Caucus stands firm in declaring Black Lives Matter.
The Latinx Writers Caucus Leadership Team believes our multiply-intersecting communities must critically, self-reflexively examine and dismantle ongoing histories of white supremacist ideologies, structures, systems, and practices in our communities and the larger world, as they affect African Latinx peoples, African-descent communities, and Black peoples globally.
We acknowledge the internalized racism among many Latinx people who deny their African ancestors, relations, and community members. We acknowledge the violent histories of slavery and colonization in the Caribbean and Latin America, and the ongoing impacts of interpersonal and institutionalized racism, colorism, and white supremacy in all aspects of Latinx lives. We commit to being vigilant against anti-Blackness in ourselves, our families, our communities, and in the literary and larger world.
We commit to further centering AfroLatinx and pan-African writers and communities in all aspects of our work and daily lives. This commitment to Black peoples, Black liberation movements, and ending anti-Blackness involves all areas of our work and lives as artists, writers, editors, publishers, translators, critics, educators, mentors, activists, organizers, and members of multiple intersecting communities.
The Latinx Writers Caucus Leadership Team offers this statement, and current and ongoing set of activation areas and additional resources as our commitment to supporting Black Lives Matter movement-building, prioritizing Black Latinx writers, and centering Black/African-descent literatures and movements.
We ask our communities to join us in various direct activation areas (including engaging in embodied and written protest; demanding accountability from local, state, and federal governments; supporting Black-led organizations; donating to bail and memorial funds; and buying from Black-owned businesses), asserting the necessity of anti-racist behaviors (such as promoting the work of Black writers, actively fighting for Black representation on projects and in events, expanding opportunities to be accessible for communities of color, reviewing and publishing the work of Black writers), and committing to electoral organizing to advance our intersectional, multiply-oppressed communities.
We know this list is not exhaustive and we, as a caucus, are compiling a more comprehensive document which will serve as a collaborative space to identify direct activation areas and resources for ensuring anti-racism behavior within our literary communities and beyond.
We acknowledge this work across multiple areas is already ongoing for many in our communities, and we support each other in deepening those commitments.
The Latinx Writers Caucus Leadership Team has been onboarding new team members since the AWP 2020 conference in early March in San Antonio. This has been a multi-month process of shifting how we do things and deepening our commitments to diverse intersecting communities. Our team is majority women of color and queer/trans people of color. We are a multiracial Latinx team of Indigenous, African, Arab, Asian, and European descent, based in California, Illinois, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia, with backgrounds in multigenre writing, translation, editing, publishing, education, multimedia/interdisciplinary arts, and community organizing. We will be more fully introducing our team in the coming weeks, as we continue to deepen our commitments to this work, encouraging our caucus and larger communities to do so as well.
We acknowledge the different and shifting capacities each of us have to fight multiple systems of interlocking oppression: the different ways people use social media, the different ways we are socially situated, and the different degrees of access people have to technology. Acknowledging these differences, we believe in our collective capacity as communities to do the work necessary to build effective movements; to support spaces for diverse creative education and expression; and to sustain a more safe, just, and equal world.
We see these commitments as ongoing. This is a life-long commitment to dismantle ongoing histories of white supremacy—a collective, multigenerational project of resistance, ancestral affirmation, and decolonization. We believe Black lives matter. We believe in this mission.
Latinx Writers Caucus Leadership Team:
Amy M. Alvarez, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Amairani Perez Chamu, MK Chavez, Lydia Cheshewalla, Chino Scott-Chung, Breena Nuñez, Zhayra Palma, Karina Muñiz-Pagán, Ruben Quesada, and Casey Gabriella Almodovar Ramos