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BlackatBrockport: Instagram account asking for accountability

BlackatBrockport is an Instagram page created by a group of SUNY Brockport students. The goal of the page is to create a safe space for students, alumni and professors to anonymously come forward about any unjust events they went through at the college. 

The account currently has 683 followers. The group says the page highlights how prevalent racism and discrimination are in Brockport’s community, despite many failed diversity or inclusion attempts.

“BlackatBrockport wants our followers to walk away with an understanding that Brockport is more than just the Golden Eagles and the beautiful SERC they love to promote on their website. We are helping people to see the truth, and sometimes the ugly truth, of what this institution is really like for BIPOC.”

The page was started in July 2020, in the midst of what they call a racial awakening. 

“The only difference between this year’s racial awakening (and every other one in the past that people have forgotten about) was that the younger generation is beginning to use their voice and hold politicians, brands, peers, and elders accountable. We deemed it necessary to do our part and hold the college that we attended accountable.”

The posts detail incidents that involve faculty, the university police, and students exhibiting racism and not receiving any repercussions. The group says they want these people to be held accountable. 

“We would like to see all members of the Brockport community held accountable when racist statements, hatred, and actions occur. Faculty members should experience repercussions for their actions no matter how long they have been teaching or what their academic position within the college is. Students also need to be given equal consequences to match their actions instead of just warnings or relocation. At the very least, Brockport should practice what they preach and not only support BIPOC students, but also celebrate them in addition to fighting for them when racial injustices occur.”

The group wants anyone who experiences any racist incident to know that their stories are heard and they are validated, and that they have a whole team of people standing by them and demanding justice on their behalf. 

Feedback to the Instagram page has been very positive. Current students and alumni have reached out to the group and thanked them for creating a safe space. They’ve also offered thoughts and ideas about what they’d like to see from the page and how to get Brockport to hold itself accountable. 

SUNY Brockport President Heidi MacPherson was not available to meet for an interview or provide a statement. 

Interim Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Lorraine Acker responded with a statement. 

“The owners of the Black@Brockport page have not made themselves known to the Office of Equity Diversity and inclusion. As the CDO of the college, I take these concerns seriously and welcome the opportunity to discuss their concerns and to identify solutions that would make their experiences a positive one. I also encourage students to report bias using the Bias Reporting System.”

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