To the members and readers of the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law:

George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin did not deserve to be murdered because of the color of their skin. Tragically, their stories are not unique. Countless Black Americans continue to be profiled, convicted, and murdered every day by those meant to protect us. Systemic racism and oppression is an epidemic that has plagued this country since its inception. Now, ironically, Black individuals are forced to combat this disease in the wake of another: the Coronavirus, which continues to impact Black lives at a disproportionate rate.

However, amid our mourning, protesting, crying, surviving, and fighting, I feel a budding sense of hope. Black people continue to exhibit strength, resilience, and perseverance, as they historically always have. I have also witnessed a promising amount of ally-ship, as non-black individuals begin or continue to educate themselves about police brutality, support the Black Lives Matter Movement, and actively call out injustice when they see it.

The solidarity I have seen in the past few days—while encouraging—is not enough. This fight must continue beyond this week and beyond social media if we want real change.

That being said, I would like to reiterate JETLaw’s longstanding commitment to combatting racial injustice. I would also like to take this time as an invitation—if not a demand—for us to do more. I am proud that JETLaw is the first Vanderbilt Law Journal to create the position of Diversity & Inclusion Editor. We need someone on the journal solely committed to these issues. However, the work does not stop there. It is our collective responsibility to make a change. Our community must support one another, have dialogues, and take long-term and proactive steps to do better. We have no choice.

This letter is by no means the end of the conversation. It is meant to serve as a catalyst for dialogue and action. For now, I have refrained from including specific measures, actions, and steps in this email because I feel that deserves thoughtful consideration and input from others. Not only must we provide sources of support for our Black JETLaw members and fellow law students, but we must also ask ourselves how our unique positions as lawyers give us the opportunity to do more outside of our organization. I would like to invite anyone who has ideas to contact me or others on the journal you feel comfortable speaking with.

 

–Eryn Terry, Diversity & Inclusion Editor, JETLaw

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One Response to A Message from JETLaw Diversity & Inclusion Editor, Eryn Terry

  1. Michael Terry says:

    Great post Eryn!

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