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Solidarity walk brings campus together

by Brianna Bush - lifestyles editor
Wed, Oct 31st 2018 06:00 pm
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On Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.  Men of Color (MOC) and The Organization for Students of African Decent (OSAD) banded together to host the annual Solidarity Walk. The clubs met in front of Harrison Dining Hall where other students from the campus joined, along with those from off campus.

Although it was cold outside, the weather did not stop people from showing up in support of bettering the Brockport community and campus. Many people who showed up for the event brought posters with them, all of them baring words of unity and strength. One of the signs read; “Solidarity=Strength to make change.”

To start off the walk, Daisia Farley President of OSAD and Daniel Jimenez Director of Operations of MOC, introduced the event to the crowd. 

“The initial purpose of this walk, was to promote unity and togetherness,” Farley said. “Today we stand here no matter our status or position we hold on campus and making our campus more inclusive.”

This year the clubs suggested attendees wear black, compared to previous years where the clubs asked everyone  wear to white. Jimenez told the crowd that they wanted to move away from social norms, where white could be considered pure.

When the group finally began to march, chants of unity could be heard all through campus. Chants like, “If we don’t unite, we can’t fight,” “Solidarity equals clarity” and “We are one… Brockport,” were proclaimed from one end of the campus to the next.

When the marchers made it to the front of Hartwell Hall, they all crowded around and set up speakers in the semi-circle that  formed. Everyone waited patiently for the members from OSAD and MOC to give their speeches. 

To begin the march, Jasmine Mohamed performed a poem about self image. She wrote it a few years ago to expose the industries that dictate what womens’ bodies should look like.

Her poem touched base on the issues of body image and how Barbie dolls are shaped a specific way, being the “perfect” body type for women. She went on saying these dolls are made with “perfect hair” and “perfect feet”, that they don’t have to do anything to be perfect, it’s merely part of their “blueprints.”

“Now we have her perfect Barbie Doll, who can’t stand up by herself,” Mohamed said in her poem. “So lean her against Brad or Ken or against a dusty shelf.”

Her message was felt by the entire crowd, who cheered loudly for her at the end of the poem. When the cheers concluded, members of each club offered memorized speeches.  Following that, Cassidy Bogle sang the song “A Change is Gonna Come”. The members of both clubs grouped together behind her as she sang, physically showing their unity.

A member from OSAD and a member from MOC both approached the front together.

When the song was over, the first club members to make their speeches were Rebecca Lindsay, the Historian of OSAD and Kadeem Blackman, Director of Communication of MOC.

Both spoke about tolerance, communication and unity.  Another theme frequently visited throughout the night was the impact of standing up for what is right and being a unified body on the campus. Other topics discussed that night were; sexism, the #METOO movement, gun violence, immigration rights, athletes having voices, mass incarceration, police brutality and mental health. Each of the topics had a story of their own.

“‘Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything,” are the famous words of Colin Kaepernick, a man who stood against the racial bias, that minorities within this nation face on a daily basis,” OSAD Treasure, Xaire Davis said. “He used his social platform within athletics, to shine a light in a place of darkness, he used his voice to promote equality.” 

The entire movement was about equality and solidarity, they finished it off night with the music stylings of Otega Robinson, a founder of BLACKLISTED USA. They closed the night with words of encouragement about how everyone needs to band together as a unit, in order to make a “Better Brockport.”

 

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