Stanford community honors Black lives lost to racial injustice

Rosalind Conerly was among those speaking at a Stanford vigil for Black lives lost to racial injustice.

The Stanford community gathered virtually Friday evening for a vigil to pay respects to the Black lives lost to racial injustice.

At least 2,500 Stanford students, faculty, staff and administrators joined the livestreamed event, which was organized by the Black Community Services Center, Office for Religious Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Ujamaa House.

“We are gathering today to honor and remember Black lives lost to police brutality and other forms of violence, specifically racial violence,” said ROSALIND CONERLY, associate dean of students and director of the Black Community Services Center.

During the vigil, members of Stanford’s Black community read names of victims of racial violence, including Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, William Chapman and Alton Sterling. They also acknowledged George Floyd, whose death just two weeks ago by police in Minneapolis has sparked nationwide protests and calls for justice.

Conerly called on members of the Stanford community to consider what these events mean to them.

“I hope you watch the protests on social media and the news and as you learn more about George Floyd and the other Black lives that have been lost, that you give yourself time to mourn, to be angry, to ask questions, to be motivated and to be activated in whatever way that looks like for you,” she said.

Sophomore political science major MICHEAL BROWN said that finding a solution to persistent racial injustices in our culture requires a collective effort.

“Acknowledging black pain is required for all of us to move forward,” Brown said. “We can and must do better.”

The vigil included reflections on racial violence from several Stanford community members, including students and staff, and was followed by a moving musical performance by Stanford alum JESSICA ANDERSON, ’13. The event closed with an eight-minute and 45-second moment of silence, representing the length of time that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on George Floyd’s neck before Floyd died.

The full livestream is available here.