Statement on racism, police brutality, and justice for Black Americans

Beauties and the Beat stands in solidarity with our Black members and Black people around the world. The senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Ramos, and countless other Black Americans by the hands of the law enforcement who are supposed to protect all Americans must end. The institution of the American police was built on white supremacy and the suppression of Black people. This is why the members of our group strongly believe in directing state funding away from police departments and towards community-based systems of support and safety.

The Austin Police Department has been using rubber bullets that have critically injured at least three protesters and tear gas that irritates the respiratory system during the coronavirus pandemic. The Austin City Council is holding a special meeting today, June 4 at 3 p.m., to discuss the city’s handling of Austin protests. Here is an email template that allows you to easily fill in your name and email all city council members asking to defund the Austin Police Department and end the use of violent force against protesters. The Austin Police Department is currently funded $434.48 million, or about 40% of the city’s total budget for the year, by the city of Austin. If you believe the Austin Police Department’s budget should be redistributed to support other city programs, please take the city budget survey here. The deadline for the survey has been extended to July 1. We recognize that defunding the police is a new idea for many of us. Here is a Vox article about what defunding the police really means. 

Additionally, we want to express our deep support for Breonna Taylor, as well as the many other Black women who have been targeted and killed by police. We believe that the support via awareness, donations, and activism to George Floyd and Michael Ramos has been incredible, and we hope to see that same support echoed in the cases of Black women. Beauties and the Beat is both committed to supporting causes of women’s empowerment and aware of the unique struggles facing Black women in this country, and we want to reflect that in our financial support of $300 split between the Breonna Taylor Justice Fund, the Black Trans Protester Emergency Fund and the Loveland Foundation, a national therapy fund for Black women and girls.

We urge other UT Austin student groups to match our donations or support #BlackLivesMatter by any means possible, whether that means donating, signing petitions, joining physical protests, or assisting protesters with food, water, and medical supplies. Here is a carrd, a google document for Austin protesters, and a broader Black Lives Matter google document with different resources for donating, signing petitions, tips for protesters to protect themselves, and educational resources for dismantling racism.

Black Lives Matter.

Below is more information on the funds and organizations we donated to.

The Loveland Foundation:

Black Trans Emergency Protesters Fund:

The Black Trans Emergency Protesters fund is organized by the Black Trans Femmes in the Arts Collectivethe Black Trans Travel FundFor the Gworls, and The Okra Project.

The Breonna Taylor Justice Fund: