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The staff of the Collegiate Times stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand proudly beside those fighting for equality and justice, and we remain dedicated to using our platform to do the same. 

The unspeakable killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are not what began this movement. The Black community has been vehemently mistreated and underprivileged in our country for hundreds of years, and the passion to fight against injustice has never faded.  

Our top priority always has been, and always will be, to report accurate, unbiased news and strive to be an outlet that is essential to its readers. We believe we can uphold these high standards while simultaneously standing against unspeakably violent crimes in our country. 

We also understand that real change comes from more than making posts on social media or promises through the words you’re reading here. As a newspaper that strives to best represent the student voice of Virginia Tech, we want the Black community to know that we see you, we hear you and we stand with you in the fight against injustice.

While diversity is present on our staff, we know we can always do better. We strive to be as accurate a reflection of Virginia Tech students’ voices as possible, and we pledge to increase the diversity of our newsroom. We invite students of all backgrounds and with all perspectives to share their thoughts with us and join our staff, year-round.

We plan to continue to cover the Black Lives Matter movement and its effect on our community and the experiences of Black students, faculty and organizations at Virginia Tech and in the New River Valley to the best of our ability. We pledge to do this long after the current protests stop, as systemic racism is an issue that will not cease to exist after mainstream media stops covering it. We have a unique platform as student journalists that we can use to better Virginia Tech, our student body and the surrounding community, and we do not intend to take this privilege for granted. 

Further, we want to remind all readers that we accept Letters to the Editor at any time through the editor@collegiatetimes.com email address. You can also contact our editor-in-chief, Ashley Long, through that email address with any inquiries. 

We invite you to learn what you can do to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Regardless of your race, age or gender, there are things you can do and resources you can take advantage of to become a stronger ally for those who need them most. You can visit https://blacklivesmatter.com/resources/ or do a general search to learn more about steps you can take.

Again, we stand with our Black peers, faculty and community members against the systemic racism that has plagued our nation and the world beyond. The time to act is now.

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