On Tuesday, October 11, 2016, representatives of the Black Student Union, Filipino Student Union, Latin American Student Organization, CIPHER, and the SMCCD Solidarity Initiative organized a well-attended event entitled “Black & Brown Lives Matter: An open forum event to discuss issues that affect disadvantaged communities and empower students to use their voice.”
Held in the Multicultural Center Hosting Gallery, students shared a poem that dispelled and directly addressed the myths and presumptions of the Black Lives Matter movement, just as they discussed and defined systemic racism. They located the necessity of this political, youth-led movement within gentrification, police brutality, and racial profiling that happens “at home” in the Bay Area and/or on campus.
Student leader Iridian Martinez honored victims of police brutality, used call and response in rally cries, and led an open discussion. In the discussion, staff, faculty, and students voiced their concerns about policing and the possibility of arming police on campus. Most of the attendees sided in opposition to arming public safety officers on campus.
The student leaders utilized practices of community organizing to show deep care and commitment to inciting lasting change. If you are interested in being involved, please contact Kevyn Lorenzana: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article and photo by Janice Sapigao