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Demonstration promotes solidarity with students of color

| Monday, November 16, 2015

Students gathered around Clarke Memorial Fountain on Sunday afternoon to stand in solidarity with students at Mizzou.Emma Borne | The Observer

Students gathered around Clarke Memorial Fountain on Sunday afternoon to stand in solidarity with students at Mizzou.

Students wearing all black gathered at the Clarke Memorial Fountain, known colloquially as Stonehenge, on Sunday evening to show support for minority students on college campuses across the country who have recently faced injustices.

Senior Rachel Wallace gathered the students together and began the evening with a moment of silence for those who suffer from hate and violence around the world. A picture of the students was then taken to be posted online. The event also included a discussion of how Notre Dame can use the momentum from these injustices across the country to instigate change.

Freshman Alexis Woods said the event was a way to stand in solidarity with minority students at the University of Missouri, and that it was not a protest.

“Basically we want to show that we’re in solidarity. … It’s not really a protest — it’s just to show that we’re standing with them,” Woods said.

Senior Michelle Pham said the event was an important show of solidarity.

“I think it’s important to see, as a minority myself, that other minorities have the support they need on their campuses to feel safe and that they’re not alone in these issues and that they don’t have to feel like they’re unsafe on their campuses in that they have no one to go to,” Pham said. “We’re giving them the support they need to maybe get back up.”

Junior Natalie Thomas, another student who attended the event, said during the discussion that minority students should continue to engage with majority students in order to make a lasting impact.

“I think we can get caught up, and we can get very frustrated in light of everything that happens on a day-to-day basis, as waking up with the burden of being a minority in America, and exclusively, waking up with the burden of being black in America can be overwhelming. During times like this, we don’t want to become hostile,” Thomas said. “It’s our responsibility, as well, to make it such that [all students] feel welcome … to continue to try and reach out to our white peers and to majority peers. … It’s really the majority that can help us get our grievances heard.”

The event concluded with the students writing their thoughts on white boards. The students then had the opportunity to take individual pictures with their messages.

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About Emma Borne

Emma Borne started as a news writer for the Observer in Fall 2013. She is a senior majoring in Sociology and Peace Studies. She loves writing for the Observer because it allows her to participate in campus life in a way that she otherwise wouldn't and because she gets to work with some super talented, awesome people!

Contact Emma