Dear members of the Emerson community,
Earlier this week, the Attorney General of Kentucky announced no charges would be brought against the individual or individuals who murdered Breonna Taylor. While there is a dispute about significant facts, we do know that she was killed in her Louisville apartment by police officers and that she was not a suspect in any crime. She was unarmed. This decision brings quickly back to the surface the outrage, anguish and fear felt daily by so many.
Around the United States, citizens have gathered in solidarity to protest the killings of unarmed Black and Brown folks and to support the dismantling of the structural racial inequities and racism that prevent people of color and underrepresented groups from full participation in American democracy. The City of Boston has informed us that several groups plan to march in protest within the city this evening. A “Justice for Breonna Taylor!” demonstration is planned in the Nubian Square area tonight starting at 6 pm, Friday, September 25. We anticipate that large crowds may gather on the Boston Common from Nubian Square this evening.
There is no one right way to react. If you choose to join in peaceful gatherings or protests, we support making your voice heard. We also want you to be safe. As we have seen so many times, peaceful situations can quickly turn volatile. There are elements in our society that thrive on furthering hate and discord and seek to take advantage of situations to cause additional havoc and harm. It is critical that you remain aware of your surroundings at all times and take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.
Below is information for community members about the marches and security measures at the College.
Please be aware that streets around the Boston Common, including those that provide direct access to many campus buildings, may become clogged by protesters or blocked by city officials. If members of the community decide to participate in the marches, we ask that they:
● Practice social distancing and wear a face covering, keeping it over your mouth and nose
● It is particularly important to maintain 6 feet of separation if you or others are chanting or singing
● Be sure to bring hand sanitizer, a bottle of water and your own signs, if you plan to be away for a long period be sure to pack food/snacks
● Be mindful of how your actions might impact those around you
● Be aware of surroundings and avoid areas of disturbance
● Call 911 if there is a threat to life and safety
● Call Emerson College Police Department (ECPD) at 617-824-8555 if the disturbance threatens individual safety or college property
● Follow instructions issued via EmersonAlerts, Emerson community advisories and/or from on-scene officials
● If you leave campus be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return
● Think through in advance how you plan to get to and return home from the activity
Here are some other important notes and notices:
· All campus buildings will be locked tonight from 5:00 pm – midnight. ECPD and building security staff will be stationed at each entryway
· Please be prepared to show your Emerson ID to the officer to gain entry
· To access the Dining Center, use the 25 Boylston Place entrance (off the alley)—the entrance on Boylston Street will be closed
· The Emerson College Bookstore will be closed
The wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff is our utmost priority. ECPD maintains contact with the Boston Police Department and the City of Boston to coordinate our safety plans. ECPD will have extra officers on duty Friday evening to ensure the safety of each community member. Additionally, members of the Student Affairs staff will be on campus and available to assist. If you have any concerns, contact the ECPD at 617-824-8555. In an emergency situation, call 911 or use the ECPD emergency line at 617-824-8888.
Any significant updates or advisories will be made available on the College’s website https://www.emerson.edu/
We encourage all Emerson community members to add at least one cell phone number to their Emerson alert account (emerson.edu/emersonalert) as this is the fastest way to receive emergency notifications. To report an incident, suspicious or dangerous activity or chat directly with Emerson College safety officials via the new Emerson College LiveSafe app, download the LiveSafe app from Google Play or the App. Store and search for Emerson College.
Please do not hesitate to contact the resources noted above for assistance or support, today, tomorrow, or at some point in the future.