June 3, 2020
Our team at the University of Maryland SAFE Center shares in the grief and pain of the University of Maryland community, our colleagues, clients, and the country over the brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many Black Americans before them. Racist actions, policies, and agencies are murdering fellow Americans in front of our eyes. We decry the structural racism that remains as a toxic legacy of our country’s history and permeates our society today. We see their effects in the disproportionate impact of human trafficking, COVID-19, and so many social ills on Black Americans and other communities of color.
We commit ourselves to listening and lifelong learning, to questioning privilege and addressing all forms of racism forcefully. Human trafficking is a human rights violation resulting from the confluence of many forms of social injustice. Many survivors we serve are marginalized and traumatized by racism, and we cannot fulfill our mission without rooting out racism and bigotry as an underlying cause of trafficking. We are working to ensure the SAFE Center is an actively anti-racist institution and that our staff, clients, policies, and work on the ground reflect this commitment daily. We will make space for our clients and staff to mourn. We are humbled by the incredible bravery and activism of leaders from communities across the country and stand ready to serve.
– The University of Maryland SAFE Center Team