FAU student organizations speaking out for Black Lives Matter

Clubs and organizations at FAU speak out about how they are supporting Black Lives Matter and what other clubs should do to show support as well.

Student+organizations+and+athletes+gathered+on+Sept.+10%2C+2020+to+protest+against+racial+injustice+on+FAU%27s+Boca+Raton+campus.+Photo+by+Alex+Liscio.+

Student organizations and athletes gathered on Sept. 10, 2020 to protest against racial injustice on FAU’s Boca Raton campus. Photo by Alex Liscio.

Kendall Little, Contributing Writer

After watching the Black Lives Matter protests happening across the country against police brutality, a group of clubs at Florida Atlantic University have held their own protests whether it be through social media or on-campus. They are also keeping track of the clubs that don’t speak out.

“If you continue to ignore the movement now it could have a devastating effect in the future,” Kennedy McKinney, president of the Black Student Union said. “What side do you want to be on? If you remain silent on the issue, you’ve already answered that question.”

The Black Student Union organized a protest on campus Sept. 10 to demand racial justice at FAU. Students marched around campus chanting and bearing signs that read ‘fire racist professors,’ ‘silence is violence,’ and more. This protest gained several clubs’ support, such as the National Organization for Women.

“Everyone deserves equal rights. That should be common sense,” new NOW member, Ky Walker said.

Still, not every club on campus is participating in the fight – and McKinney is speaking up.
McKinney said “It is very disheartening” to watch clubs on campus stay silent during a time of extreme social unrest.

NOW secretary Sheivon Tribble added that showing support is too easy not to speak out.
“I understand that some clubs might be hesitant to attend protests due to the pandemic,” Tribble said. “But there are other ways to show support.”

At the end of the protest, volunteers and organizers gathered for a photo op. Photo by Alex Liscio.

There are many ways to show support for the BLM movement and for clubs to be allies without taking part in an in-person protest.

“Social media is such a big part of our lives now, we need to use it for good,” Walker said, adding that posting infographics and petitions to sign are easy ways for organizations on campus to show their support and help the movement.

Diamelys Vargas, who just joined NOW two months ago, can already see that BLM is a very important cause for NOW by taking a look at their Instagram page.

“I believe FAU NOW definitely prioritizes supporting BLM,” she says. The club’s social media page is “always posting important information” regarding the movement according to Vargas.

Tribble says that the club “donated to the BLM organization out of [their] funds” and encourages others to donate as well. She also reinforced Vargas’ words about sharing vital information about the movement to NOW’s social media pages. She says that “supporting BLM is important to us because as an intersectional feminist organization, we advocate for the rights of all people.”

Intersectional feminism can be simply defined by Walker as “fight[ing] for equality for everyone.”

Many officers and members of NOW participated in the on-campus protest on Sept. 10 and the club recently had online events “discussing performative activism and interracial dating,” according to Vargas.

FAU Police Chief Sean Brammer led the protest through campus. Photo by Alex Liscio.

As for the BSU, McKinney says that they “hold meetings within the community [and] keep an ongoing list of petitions in [their] bio.” The union was created to “represent all Black people at FAU.” She added that BLM “is an important movement because it affects us directly and it is important that black students feel seen and heard when it comes to their value on campus and in the world.”

The BSU and NOW have both expressed their discontent with other clubs and organizations remaining quiet regarding the issue of racial injustice and believe everyone should be actively using their platforms to show support for the BLM movement.

Kendall Little is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @klittlewrites.