Students at colleges and universities from coast to coast walked out of class, held rallies and teach-ins, and protested on Wednesday as part of a coordinated national day of action demanding racial justice both on- and off-campus.
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The actions were both inspired by and in solidarity with recent protests at the University of Missouri and other institutions.
“We hope that Black students organize and participate in actions that really challenge white supremacy and anti-blackness on their campuses,” University of Connecticut student Yamiesha Bellan, an organizer of the #StudentBlackOut mobilization, told NBC News. “Every school is [unique] and has different needs and wants; however, we know oppression takes place at every institution in this country and white supremacy is embedded all through higher education.”
Demands from almost two dozen schools were collected on one website by Twitter user @samswey, an activist with Campaign Zero, which seeks to combat police violence and reform the criminal justice system. Calls ranged from greater access to higher education for Black and Indigenous communities to a public acknowledgement of deep-seated racism in the top echelons of school administrations.
At the time of publication dozens of protesters were occupying the office of the Princeton University president demanding a transformation of the school’s racist legacy.
“We’re here. We’ve been here. We ain’t leaving. We are loved,” they chanted as they staged their direct action, which is depicted in the following footage:
Meanwhile, students at Stanford University publicly recited the words of exiled black liberation activist Assata Shakur:
At Tufts University, where a small percentage of students are African Ameican, protesters are using the hashtag #thethreepercent to highlight their mobilization.
Students at the University of Cincinnati are demanding justice for Samuel Dubose, an unarmed black man shot and killed by police.
And the movement crossed national borders as students in Ottawa joined in the mass mobilization: