971 individuals were killed by the police in 2016
Every year, the Department of Chicana/o Studies creates an altar for Dia de los Muertos with staff, students and others in the ethnic studies departments. This year, the department built a community altar in memory of victims of police violence in 2016. The altar was located in the Hart Hall stairway corridor from Oct. 18 to Nov. 14.
Additionally, the department hosted a reflection and discussion about the meaning of Dia de los Muertos and police violence on Nov. 7.
“This year, given the huge number of victims of police violence in our communities (i.e, Native American, African American, Latina/o and Trans, for example), it was decided that the altar should honor and reflect on the victims of police violence in 2016,” said Natalia Deeb Sossa, a professor in the Chicana/o department, via e-mail.
Since Nov. 11, 2016, 971 people have been killed by the police.
The altar and artwork at the memorial included photos of all of the victims, calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls), flowers, posters and food offerings.
The altar became a space to discuss and address police violence.
“Given the prevalence of police violence in the media (and hidden from the media) the altar became a space, built in community, to address the issues currently affecting our communities […] knowing that this is a very difficult and painful subject, we offered a space to reflect, heal and discuss police violence in our communities,” Sossa said via e-mail.
Written by: Yvonne Leong — firstname.lastname@example.org