By Sylvia Cunningham
Outside the Student Union at the University of Connecticut, a group – comprised primarily of students – joined together.
“Ferguson, Staten Island, Stamford, Hartford, the list goes on. It’s systemic. It’s institutionalized,” Bailey said.
That’s Daeja Bailey, an organizer of the “Vigil for Victims of Police Brutality” which was held late Tuesday afternoon.
Bailey introduced a number of speakers, including UConn student Kayla Edwards who expressed her frustration with the university administration.
“I don’t know what on this campus is changing. I don’t know if Susan Herbst feels some kind of way, like, I don’t even know if she even cares about black people,” Edwards said.
Edwards said it makes her mad that at the school she pays to attend, the African American Cultural Center is the only place she feels comfortable.
Other students expressed their concerns through poetry. Here’s Denee Jackson:
“All I want is not to fear for my son’s life before he is even born.”
Ken Krayeske, a lawyer and activist based in Hartford, also spoke to the crowd. He said people will often tell him they’re committed to social justice.
“And the question I always ask is what price are you willing to pay for the change that you want to see?” Krayeske said.
UConn Sociology Professor Noel Cazenave said students should be encouraged to express their grievances and be sure to make something clear to people in power: “you do not get to tell us how to frame our grievances.”
Cazenave concluded his speech with the simple refrain.
“How do we spell civility? It’s spelled, ‘no justice, no peace.’”
Featured photos by Santiago Pelaez.