Black Lives Matter

Dear Creative Writing Community,

As writers, teachers, and human beings, the creative writing faculty and I send our heartfelt support to our Black students, to Black writers in the Bay Area and beyond, as well as to the Black Lives Matter movement and conversation.

In response to the long history of state-sanctioned murder of Black people, the Creative Writing Department supports the protests in the Bay Area, across the U.S., and world. We commit to working toward anti-racism for our BIPOC and all students.  Now and always.

We recognize that institutions historically were designed to support patriarchy and white supremacy, and in this light we must continue asking ourselves questions. We have a lot of work to do—we are a work-in-progress—and we welcome your feedback.

Photo credit: Persis Karim, Berkeley Protest 6/6/20

Some questions we must continue asking:

  • How do structures, policies, practices at the University, college and department level aid and abet the system of white supremacy?
  • What have we been doing and what could we do more of to recognize and dismantle entrenched policies and practices that result in anti-black racism and other forms of exclusion?
  • What decisions could we make to counter the story of white supremacy?
  • What are some concrete ways we can further support our Black, Indigenous, and POC students?
  • What are the concrete ways we can support the Black Lives Matter movement and conversation?

We bring our ignorance, our privileges, our ongoing questions. We also bring our hearts and good will. And the three bones of the inner ear.

  • This is an ongoing conversation, but as a starting point we renew our commitment to:
  • hiring more Black, Indigenous, and people of color on as lecturers and professors, and to continue to press the University to prioritize the hiring and retention of BIPOC faculty.
  • bringing BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA voices to our campus
  • pressing the college and university to widen outreach to BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA students, and to ourselves buoy our efforts to mentor BIPOC undergraduate students to succeed and prepare for graduate programs.
  • creating a new CW scholarship for BIPOC students.
  • continuing our multi-voiced Student-Faculty Working group to talk about pedagogy and community inclusion.

Please find below local resources for our Black students and all of our students who seek support, ongoing self-care and community. Also listed are ways to finance and strengthen organizations that support black and brown communities—including donating time and supporting bail funds in our city and beyond.


CW supports all non-violent reinventions of the world wholeheartedly.  WE LOVE TO VOTE.


I wish you well, and more well.


Nona Caspers, Chair of Creative Writing



Please find below local resources for our Black students and all of our students who seek support, ongoing self-care and community. Also listed are ways to finance and strengthen organizations that support black and brown communities—including donating time and supporting bail funds in our city and beyond.

SFSU Resources for Black Students Tarshel Beards is the Director of the Black Unity Center. Students should feel free to reach out to her should they need help, referrals, or to chat. Email:

Counseling and Psychological Services Student Services Building room 208,

Disability Resource Center Student Services Building room 110,

Student Health Services Located between Burk Hall and the Ethnic Studies/Psychology Building,,

Basic Needs,

  • AS Gator Groceries food pantry: Free pre-made meal boxes are distributed Wednesday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Cesar Chavez Student Center information desk, while supplies last.
  • CalFresh Help ClinicCalFresh, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets. SF State provides help with screening, application assistance, questions and troubleshooting. Schedule a Zoom video appointment; email for virtual assistance-screening, application assistance, documents and questions.
  • Emergency meal cards: Cards will continue to be distributed through the Dean-on-Call program. Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Student Services Building, Room 403.
  • Laundry kits: Distributed Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Student Services Building, Room 403. Email for more information.
  • HOPE Crisis Fund: For students experiencing financial difficulty due to circumstances beyond their control, assistance is available through SF State’s Help, Opportunity and Pathway to Empowerment Crisis Fund.
  • Mashouf Wellness Center: The Mashouf Wellness Center is closed, but the locker rooms, bathrooms and showers are available to students. Monday and Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Title IX: Promoting gender equity and preventing harassment/sexual violence.

The SAFE Place: Crisis intervention, advocacy and confidential Title IX support for survivors dealing with past or recent incidents of sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, sexual harassment and/or stalking.

Dream Resource Center: Support services for undocumented students.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Retention and Education (ASPIRE): Supports high-need Asian American and Native American Pacific Islanders (AANAP) and low-income degree-seeking undergraduate students.

Black Unity Center: Works to advance educational equity for students of African descent.

Queer & Trans Resource Center: Offers LGBTQQIA-related events, services, and resources to students.

Women’s Center: Provides a safe place for womxn of any and all backgrounds at SF State.

Anti-Racist Reading List: SF State faculty and staff have created an anti-racist reading list.

Safe Zone Program: A voluntary training program for faculty, staff and administrators seeking to be LGBTQ+ allies. Find a safe zone ally where you see this symbol;


College of Liberal and Creative Arts 

Advising Resource Center (ARC),, HUM 112

Creative Writing Department HUM 573,,

College of Liberal and Creative Arts Dean’s Office,, CA 251

Humanities Building Computer Labs (When camps reopens)

HUM 112, HUM 294, HUM 391, HUM 404, HUM 407

Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives HUM 512,,


More Resources and Support Opportunities for BIPOC

Consider Donating

Thanks to Stanford Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity for sharing these sites.


Local Organizations for BIPOC Support

(From KQED)

Help When It’s Not an Emergency

A police killing is an extreme example of the ways racism manifests in America, but there are ways to support black and brown communities even when it’s not a state of emergency. Equal access to housing, food, medical care and education are crucial in the fight for racial justice.

In Alameda County, where black people make up 11% of the total population, 47% of homeless people are black. The grassroots organizations People’s Breakfast Oakland ( and the East Oakland Collective ( are working directly to provide meals and hygienic supplies to our unhoused neighbors, going out into the field even during the pandemic.

Planting Justice ( employs formerly incarcerated people and gives low-income communities of color access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The Roots Community Health Center ( offers health services to those impacted by systemic poverty—including COVID-19 testing, which we know low-income black and brown need people most. The Transgender, Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Project ( assists and advocates for gender non-conforming people, especially trans women of color, in California’s jails and prisons.”