Written for The Argo by Zuleika Rodriguez Garcia
On Feb. 16, The Coalition For Women’s Rights organized a Black Lives Matter March on the Galloway campus. The march began at the Campus Center Coffee House, where speakers from different organizations took the stage to bring attention to issues of inequality and discrimination against Black people, including women, immigrants, and queer folk. The physical march around campus had a large number of attendees in support, whose chants called for the remembrance of Black victims lost to police violence and for cops to be held accountable for their crimes.
Two members of the Stockton Socialists executive board spoke at the march. Emma Rodriguez brought up the statistic that although the Black community makes up only 13% of the general population, they make up 40% of the homeless population. She called allies to action, stating that there is a responsibility to call out racism, uplift Black voices, learn from the Black community, and check your own privilege. Nautilus Walker talked about the racial injustice that still happens to this day as it did decades ago, as evidenced by the recent death of Tyre Nichols and the death of Rodney King thirty years ago. He urged a move towards “a state for and by workers. One based on cooperation, instead of competition.”
Professor of Africana Studies Dr. Donnetrice Allison detailed how, “we are upset for a while, and then go back to normal…we have to stop the cycle. America has made a lot of promises to Black folks and has broken many of them.” She encouraged students to make their voices heard and reassured them that they are allowed to criticize and hold Stockton University to a standard. “It takes student voices. So many changes that have happened in our society are because of student voices,” said Dr. Allison. ”We don’t get anything without a struggle.”
Vera Tagta, Vice President of TogetHER, Student Senator, and African Student Association member detailed how college-aged students often do not show up to vote in elections, and urged those in attendance to do so in order to promote change in politics.
Jovin Fernandez spoke about the Multicultural Center on the Galloway Campus, of which she is the inaugural director. The center will officially open on Wednesday, Feb 23, 2023. She expressed how “this will help to shift the campus culture and increase a sense of inclusion.” Fernandez expressed that it will be a place where the entire campus community will be reflected, but is primarily focused on representing those of historically marginalized communities.
The march was supported by the African Student Organization, the Caribbean Student Association, First Ospreys, Los Latinos Unidos, the Queer and Transgender People of Color Society, the Stockton University Socialists, and TogetHER. All of these student organizations provide opportunities to get involved within the community and to find support at Stockton.
Student leader Aleyshka Barbosa quoted Malcolm X by saying, “If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made.”
For more information on these student organizations and their meeting times, please visit OspreyHub at: https://stockton.campuslabs.com/engage/
For more information on the Black Lives Matter movement, please visit: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
Categories: Campus Life, Stockton News