Cal State University Students and Faculty Start Petition to Appoint BLM Co-Founder Melina Abdullah as Inaugural Dean of Ethnic Studies

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Students and faculty at Cal State University petition to end all forms of institutionalized racism on the campus by appointing Black Lives Matter co-founder Melina Abdullah as the Inaugural Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies.

As the nation continues the movement for racial equality, students, staff, and faculty are calling on California State University (CSU) in Los Angeles to appoint Melina Abdullah as the Inaugural Dean of Ethnic Studies to end the pattern of anti-blackness and create a “Freedom Campus.”

Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Melina Abdullah has also served as a professor for the Pan-American studies at CSULA and assisted in making Ethnic Studies a requirement for California schools (K-12th grade and university systems).

Additionally, Abdullah has served as BLM LA chapter leader for seven years and continues to be active in city council meetings for the transformation of oppressed systems in American society. As she continues the fight for racial equality, she remains unapologetically true to her objection of anti-Blackness in communities, industries, and educational institutions.


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We are in the midst of a fight to make the Ethnic Studies College that WE fought for and won true to our core as the “intellectual arm of the revolution.” I am humbled to be asked to lead by students, faculty, staff and community. Let’s make sure administration hears us. Posted @withregram • @panafricans For nearly two decades our beloved Dr. Melina Abdullah has fought for Ethnic Studies. She fearlessly led Pan-African Studies for nine years and worked for and helped to build the second College of Ethnic Studies in the nation, scheduled to launch fully this Fall, at Cal State LA. There is no better leader for the College of Ethnic Studies. Students, faculty, staff, and community are all clear that we want her as our inaugural dean. It’s precisely because she puts us first and vigorously challenges white-supremacy that the administration is attempting to block her. But, just like Ethnic Studies was fought for and won by the people, despite the institution, we will fight for the leadership that we believe in and that’s @docmellymel. Stand with us on Monday at 10am at Cal State LA. Wear masks! @csulabsu @mechadecsula @blmlosangeles @centrocso @csula_universitytimes @clscsula @cfasolidarity

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The community, including staff, student-led organizations, and faculty, are uniting to have their voices heard. President of CSU LA, William A. Covino, was given a list of demands from The Black Student Union, Black Faculty and Staff Caucus, BLM-LA, and the Department of Pan-African Studies, to follow through with the university’s commitment of a welcoming and inclusive campus.

Ally organizations such as LatinxFaculty4BLM and El Movimiento de Esudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan have joined in the urgency of making Black Lives Matter at CSU LA. Demands such as Leadership by appointment Abdullah as the inaugural dean of a new College of Ethnic Studies, defunding the police by disarming police on campus and replacing with non-violent forms of accountability such as health and safety programs and prioritizing the hiring of Black/POC counselors. To see the full list of demands, click here.

You can access the petition here.