Dear Evergreen community,
Today the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. This decision reverses the nation’s fifty years of the U.S. Constitution’s protection of reproductive freedom. It is difficult to wrap our heads around this news. Reproductive rights are clearly an issue of gender equity, dignity, and privacy. Denying women, trans, and non-binary people the right to safe abortions puts their health at risk, but also impacts their sovereignty, economic freedom, and life opportunities. Moreover, decisions to deny rights that have existed for decades and that are supported by the majority in this country (70%) are an attempt by the minority to control the majority, erode our democracy, and set us backward in the struggle for gender justice.
While we dust ourselves off from this devastating blow, we as Greeners can pivot to looking at who we are. When The Evergreen State College was founded in 1971, it was created for people like us – people who wanted to pursue things that matter. This foundation is needed now more than ever. We have an ever-evolving ethic grounded in social justice. At our Olympia and Tacoma campuses, we learn empowerment, collaboration, and creative problem-solving. We learn how to adapt to change and confront the many challenges of society. For the past 50 years, Evergreen has produced leaders in government, business and nonprofits. Although we do not fully know the repercussions of today’s Supreme Court decision to impede reproductive rights, we know where we stand as a community.
In our state, access to reproductive care is broad and guaranteed by law. In May, Governor Inslee signed into law the “Affirm Washington Abortion Access Act.” The law safeguards abortion rights in Washington and guarantees reproductive health care for patients across the country, from states like Texas or neighboring Idaho where these rights have eroded. At our Student Wellness Center the college provides sexual and reproductive healthcare services and this care will continue.
We know that today’s news may trigger difficult feelings. Resources for students, staff and faculty can be found at this link. Evergreen’s Reproductive Justice Teach-In held in May includes valuable information and resources in the link provided here.
We at Evergreen will continue to remove educational barriers for populations who have been historically excluded; we will continue to bolster and empower our students, faculty and staff to dig deeper into their ideas and stand up for what they believe in; and we will continue to provide support to our community so everyone can have the equality and freedom they desire and deserve. We unite with Governor Jay Inslee’s commitments announced this morning and we stand ready to be of assistance in the days, weeks and months ahead.
John Carmichael, PhD
Dexter Gordon, PhD
Executive Vice President
Dear Evergreen community,