Every few weeks, colorful sticky notes filled with meaningful words line the windows on the first floor of the Student Center. This week they revolve around the Black Lives Matter movement.
Black Lives Matter Week of Action is hosted by Justice for Education to raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement and its thirteen guiding principles.
Students are encouraged to place sticky notes containing their ideas on the window panes where blank notes and pens are provided, along with informational posters explaining the movement’s ideals and prompting discussion.
The event explores two to three themes each day to challenge students with critical thinking.
The advertisement on Hawk Sync said the Black Lives Matter movement has been “vilified and maligned” as well as “honored with recognition.”
By late Monday afternoon, nine sticky notes had already been placed on the windows under the discussion prompts “Black Families,” “Loving Engagement” and “Cross Out Negativity.” In answer to the question, “How can we practice and encourage a loving and supportive community by using Black Lives Matter,” someone suggested “having open and honest dialogue. If we can’t be real with each other … we will never learn each others’ truths and how to move on properly.”
Anthony Williams, a junior double-majoring in computer science and math, said he thought the Black Lives Matter movement was important because of the awareness it creates.
“Most of us don’t have our amendment rights, even though we’re U.S. citizens,” Williams said. “Because of our race, people look at us as inferior. I see someone pull out a badge, I have to respect them. Because I don’t have a badge, they don’t have to respect me.”
Williams also noted that there were many other underprivileged groups without such movements.
“I hear about Black Lives Matter, but not about the other people who are suffering,” Williams said.
Eshariah Dyson, a senior chemistry major, paused Monday afternoon by the windows to see what the posters and notes were about. She said she was aware of the Black Lives Matter Week through the school email but did not know that this event was going on.
Some students were already aware of the event. However, Sam Mompoint, a senior majoring in sociology with minors in both African-American studies and justice and families said that he saw the event advertised in a school email and decided to come check it out. Mompoint added several sticky notes of his own to the windows.
Justice for Education, a new Class III organization of the Student Government Association started in fall 2017.
“The purpose of this organization is to raise awareness for social justice in school systems and in the community,” said Justice for Education President Joseph Scarpa in an email. “Subsequently, to advocate for students and their families that have been historically mistreated or have not been given the same opportunity from their school systems. We strive to create a better education community.”