Invest In Our Education, Divest From Our Exploitation!
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For years, UW students have demanded that UW divest from institutions that oppress communities of color, one of them being the prison industrial complex. If you do not already know, UW obtains its furniture from private prison labor, and therefore contributes to the unjust system of mass incarceration that disproportionately affects Black and brown people.
As a state agency, under Washington law RCW 3926251, the University of Washington is required to purchase from Class II prison labor—however, there is a clause within this law that permits the UW to purchase from other resources if it chooses to apply. As of yet, the UW has made no effort to apply for this exemption.
We, the students of the University of Washington, are fed up with the institution’s investment in prison labor as well as the minimal role they have played in recruiting and retaining students of color on all campuses. In light of present and recurring hate crimes and instances of violence on campus, we demand that the administration:
1. Divest from private prison labor and retroactively provide transparent documentation for all of its investments, past and present, to the public, and
2. Take action to repeal I-200, Washington’s anti-affirmative action initiative, including:
- Making a public statement as a university in opposition to the initiative, - - Encouraging all administrators--specifically President Ana Marie Cauce--to officially endorse a repeal of the initiative, and
- Taking steps to educate the public on the negative effects the initiative has on the University, and what people can do to oppose it, and finally, to
3. Address exclusionary admissions practices by increasing funding for recruitment and retention programs for students of color and for other underrepresented students.
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