Freedom of artistic expression is a fundamental human right and an indicator of a healthy and free society. But artistic freedom is under assault: autocratic regimes fear artists because they express cultural identity, advance new ideas, promote dialogue, and bear witness to inhumanity.
Black Students for Disarmament at Yale
In the context of a nationwide movement to defund and abolish the police, students and teachers at colleges across the country are organizing to demand police-free campuses and to defund university-affiliated police departments. Since April 2019, inspired by and alongside New Haven organizers, BSDY has been working to reimagine what safety and community might look like in New Haven: organizing teach-ins, composing reports, and amplifying community actions aimed at lessening Yale’s participation in the oppression of local, particularly Black, residents.
We are fast approaching the two year anniversary of Rachael’s passing, and of our group forming from strangers meeting over zoom to discuss the deeply personal topics of mental illness and suicide. Negotiations continue with Yale regarding our lawsuit alleging discrimination against students with mental health disabilities. As many of you know, in mid January, around a month and a half after the lawsuit was filed, Yale made a number of changes to its withdrawal and leave policies for students with physical and mental illness. We consider this a promising step, but if seen as a final project it gets a grade of Incomplete. We continue to fight hard alongside our two brave individual student Plaintiffs for all students with mental health disabilities. We are limited in how much we can say due to legal constraints, but please stay with us. We will surely need your concern and activism moving forward. We continue to help students on mental health leave of absence who need assistance for basic living costs and costs of treatment, etc. At this point we have distributed over $13,000 to Yale College students, primarily through your donations. Please make a donation if you are able. 100% goes to students. We continue to work closely with student and alumni groups that are simultaneously pushing for improvements to Yale’s mental health services and policies, including Yale College Council, Yale Student Mental Health Association, and Yale Disability Alumni Group. We recently accepted an invitation to join an Inter-Ivy Mental Health coalition that includes student leaders from Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, UPenn, and Columbia.
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
Scholar Strike for Racial Justice
A mass action of higher education professionals protesting racist policing, state violence against communities of color, mass incarceration, and other manifestations of racism.
Scholar Strike on Youtube