The Gate’s Editorial Board stands in solidarity with the Black community and condemns the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Power, Tony McDade, and countless others who have lost their lives due to systemic racism and violence. We also stand in solidarity with the hundreds of protestors who have gone missing and who remain nameless as a result of police violence, and with the journalists, especially journalists of color, who have been attacked for their coverage of the protests.
The Gate owes its existence to democratic liberties such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press. If we are to benefit from and continually defend these rights, we have an obligation to ensure that those liberties are universally realized. Black Americans have been, and continue to be, deprived of these freedoms, in addition to the fundamental right to life. The events of the past weeks have pushed us to demand for change, but their underlying causes have been present in our society for centuries.
The Gate has previously expressed its commitment to publish a diversity of political perspectives and “to serve the University of Chicago and the local community.” However, the responsibility to fight for racial justice extends even beyond the fulfillment of this commitment alone. We recognize that mainstream media outlets often maintain existing power structures in society by excluding historically marginalized voices and perpetuating white supremacist narratives about these communities. In order to both learn from our past shortcomings and act on our unwavering support for racial equality, we are committed to taking the following steps:
First and foremost, we want to emphasize our ongoing commitment as a publication to highlight structural violence and provide a platform for students who seek to tackle issues regarding racial inequality and injustice. Journalism is an invaluable tool for those aiming to hold our institutions accountable and to challenge power structures that reinforce social, political, and economic inequities. To fulfill this fundamental purpose, The Gate must actively serve as a vehicle for honest and perhaps difficult conversations about race and white supremacy, and their societal implications.
Second, The Gate will strive to become a bridge between our university and the city of Chicago, particularly the South Side community, that fosters a meaningful exchange of stories, perspectives, and experiences. We must work to strengthen our on-the-ground reporting efforts and increase the output of our University and Chicago sections, which have historically seen much fewer articles than other sections. To encourage this, we will request an increase in the portion of our budget dedicated to writers’ transportation within Chicago and continually advertise the availability of these resources.
Third, we will encourage writers who wish to both share their experiences and amplify the voices of those who have experienced systemic racism to apply for the Axelrod Reporting Grant and the Senior Writer cohort. To do so, we will make a greater effort to promote these opportunities to the greater University of Chicago community, rather than solely within our cohort of writers and editors.
Finally, The Gate will continue to foster ongoing discussions between its writers, editors, and leadership regarding how we can fulfill and expand upon our responsibilities as a Civic Engagement organization, in addition to those of a publication. We will host conversations to explicitly discuss how mainstream media perpetuates existing injustices, and we will use these conversations to better ourselves as a publication and hold ourselves accountable for the impact of our reporting. We encourage members of our community, and the University community as a whole, to engage with us and provide honest feedback on our continued efforts to learn, improve, and grow as an organization.
We hope that our readers and writers have been moved, as we have been, to educate themselves, challenge systems that perpetuate inequality, and support the Black community. If you would like to learn more about how to contribute to the fight for racial justice, please check out the resources below.
We encourage all to not only condemn racism, but become actively anti-racist. We all share a collective responsibility to shine a light on oppression and discrimination wherever they manifest.
Black Lives Matter.
The Gate Editorial Board
For donation suggestions and other resources, check out this guide from Chase Leito: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KX4vB7LF-pRaH2mBAoA6PfTGL6D86XJ0VrixZL9-4YU/mobilebasic
For Chicago-based resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1icxD3D_smbiV7Nmfctr8dwEvDpENZ3Xc1NJpM-C8X5A/edit
Suggested reading list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/19Y1Uick2g_zsnNdhVbrTdPmMgEcV67IOIZNNZNuHkCY/htmlview
Anti-Racist Resources List
Ashton Hashemipour is a fourth-year majoring in Political Science and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations. Last summer, he interned at Kaiser Associates, a consulting firm, and will be returning there after graduation. Outside of the Gate, Ashton is writing a thesis on the Iranian Revolution and chairs a committee for the university’s annual Model UN conference. In his spare time, he enjoys challenging his friends in basketball and FIFA, and discussing Iranian history from 1921 to the modern day.
Noa Levin is a third-year Political Science major and Human Rights minor from New York. On campus, Noa works as a research assistant for Professor Paul Staniland and as Communications Director of the Maroon Project on Security and Threats (MPOST). She has previously served as a Policy Research Lead for Neal Salés-Griffin’s campaign for Mayor of Chicago, and this past summer, she interned at the U.S. Department of State. In her free time, Noa enjoys watching Seinfeld and bullet journaling.
Mariana Paez is a third year Economics and Political Science double major. She first became involved with The Gate winter quarter her first year, and since then has served as the U.S. section editor and now as a co-EIC. In addition to The Gate, she is a researcher for the Paul Douglas Institute, a student-run public policy think tank on campus. This past summer, she worked as a Communications Intern for the Becker Friedman Institute. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, running, exploring the city with friends, and spending time in cafes.
Jake Biderman is a fourth-year political science major interested in law, journalism, and governance. He has worked for outlets including the Des Moines Register and Fox News, covering the Democratic primaries and a Democratic presidential debate. When he’s not worrying about Americans’ critical thinking skills, he’s exercising, learning foreign languages, or watching baseball. Go Nats!