Starting with a group of nearly 60 supporters strong, The Rising Panthers grassroots student organization gathered on the steps of Coxe Hall on Monday night. Before the Black Student Lives Matter march across campus was complete more than an hour later, the group totaled nearly 100 supporters, concluding the rally in front of the Scandling Campus Center.
Throughout the march, participants yelled a series of chants such as “Black Students Matter,” “Black Teachers Matter,” “Protect Black Women, Protect Black Men,” “Black History is World History,” “I Can’t Breathe” and “No Justice No Peace.” The marchers included students, faculty, staff and community members, who all wore masks and periodically were called upon to extend their arms to ensure they were adhering to social distancing practices.
“Join the Protest,” urged organizer Mercy Sherman ’22 as she led the group, encouraging fellow students she passed to join the line. From Coxe Hall, the group walked to the Office of Admissions, President’s House, Hubbs Health Center, Winn-Seeley Gymnasium, Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Scandling Campus Center. At each location, various Rising Panther members read details of the demands they are asking of the Colleges including incorporating anti-racism education into all first-year seminars, hiring additional faculty and staff of color across campus, and renovating the Office of Intercultural Affairs and adding additional social space.
In concluding the event, Sherman urged all to join them when the Rising Panthers intend to formally deliver a list of demands to the Office of the President. The group also encourages all in support of their efforts to sign their petition and follow them on Instagram at rising_panthers.
Before the march concluded, members of Geneva’s Peaceful Protest who participated in the campus event asked the HWS community members to join them on Friday for a Black Lives Matter rally that starts in front of the Public Safety Building on Exchange Street at 7 p.m.