Wednesday, February 17, 2016

UIS students discuss Black Lives Matter movement

Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland and Eric Garner are all major figures in the Black Lives Matter movement.

And it’s her responsibility to make sure others know their story, University of Illinois at Springfield freshman Carissa Gillings told her peers Monday.

“They are representations of injustice,” Gillings said. “Normal average people whose lives were cut short.”

Gillings was one of a handful of finalists to address a crowd of more than 100 people at Brookens Auditorium at Monday’s Black Lives Matter Symposium. The event was part of a Black History Month series at UIS.

Organizers said the symposium was intended to bring to light the totality of the Black Lives Matter movement beyond sound bites. It was also designed to provide greater awareness and respect for the difficult issues facing black people in the U.S.

Students wrote essays in advance and then finalists had the opportunity to present them in creative forms such as rap, lecture, slam poetry and slides.

For the essays, students were asked, among other things, to explain what the Black Lives Matter movement means to them and explain how the movement is creating awareness.

Kerry Poynter, interim executive director of the diversity center, said the university, with the help of students, came up with the idea because they knew the social movement was on the minds of students.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on February 16, 2016.

Read the article online.