Students Rally To Raise Awareness Of Police Brutality

September 26, 2016

About 150 people left chalk messages on the University of Illinois Main Quad, as part of a "Call To Action" event to raise awareness about police brutality against people of color.

Christine Herman / Illinois Public Media

Last night, a crowd of about 150 gathered to draw messages in chalk across the University of Illinois campus as part of an event hosted by one sorority to raise awareness about police brutality.

At one point during Sunday’s rally on the Main Quad, the gathering of about 150 predominantly African-American people called out simultaneously the names of different individual Americans who had lost their lives due to police brutality over the past 50 years.

The local chapter of the historically African-American Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority organized the event after the recent fatal shootings by police of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Undergraduate students Immanuel Campbell and Marques Webster create signs during a "Call To Action" event on the University of Illinois Main Quad on Sunday, September 25, 2016.

Christine Herman / Illinois Public Media

“We wanted people to know that just because things are happening 100 miles away doesn’t mean they are irrelevant to us,” said sorority historian Lola Ogunfemi.

Participants used chalk to write messages, such as “Fight Racism” and “Colored skin is not a weapon” along the Quad. 

“Black Americans will no longer be silent and no longer play nice while our children are murdered, so we’re going to do something about it,” said Karen Olowu, a junior at the university.

The organizers say they hope people recognize how police brutality and racism affect everyone - not only African-Americans and their allies.

Story source: WILL