How to advocate for Black Lives Matter as a college student

Danny G on

Naomi Bitton, News Editor

For a college student with low-income or debt, donating to organizations dedicated to fighting systemic racism and amplifying the Black Lives Matter movement may not be possible. Likewise, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be difficult for some to physically show support. The Pace Press has compiled alternate ways University students can educate themselves and advocate for the movement.

Use Your Signature

15-year-old Kellen S. began a petition on May 26 to indict all officers involved in George Floyd’s murder.  The petition has over 17 million signatures, making it the largest U.S. petition on Students can sign several other petitions calling for the arrest of the officers (Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove) who murdered Breonna Taylor and the firing of District Attorneys Barnhill and Johnson who mismanaged Ahmaud Arbery’s case and defended his killers.

The officers involved in Floyd’s murder have since been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. On June 10, one of the officers was released on bond, with a court date set for June 29. 

Other petitions linked below also call for justice in the wrongful deaths or execution of Black individuals. 

Use Your Voice

Students can call and send emails to investigative agencies, political officials and institutions to plead for justice. In Taylor’s case, students can call the Mayor and City Council to demand to charge and/or fire the officers involved in her murder, as well as address the use of force exhibited by the Louisville Metro Police Department. Additionally, students can call Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey at (612) 673-2100 to demand justice and policing changes in honor of Floyd. Specific websites linked below can help inform you of what to say when talking to officials.

Use Your Email

Email templates were designed by protestors to help individuals ask for change with the correct information and addresses. Below is an email template with details on what to write and who to email to demand justice for Taylor.  There are also other templates circulating on Twitter and Instagram. 

Make a Change on Campus

There are currently two petitions created by University alumni. One petition, created by former Pace Performing Arts student Alex Knezevic, asks the University to open its doors to protesters, giving them access to University bathrooms and water fountains. The latest update on the petition says while the University provided less than what was hoped for, they did offer a space to set up a station for protestors. 

The second petition was started by a former Dyson student, Lindita Kulla. Kulla calls for the University to hold a memorial service and annual anti-racist programs in honor of Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr., a former University student who was shot and killed by a police officer off-campus on Oct. 17, 2010.

On June 5, the University released a statement saying that it plans to “design a comprehensive series of programming for the fall semester to examine racial justice in our community…including honoring the memory of DJ Henry.” Students may still sign Kulla’s petition to show the University their support and interest in this matter.

Additionally, the Black Student Union launched a Google Form where students on all University campuses can anonymously submit any racial discrimination they have witnessed or experienced. 

The University’s statement also included plans to establish a Presidential Task Force designed to represent minorities within the University community. According to the statement, “The Presidential Task Force will design a plan with short and long-term strategies for a more equitable and just Pace University.” All members of the community interested in joining the University’s new Presidential Task Force can contact [email protected].

Educate Yourself and Others

The University has also published a Google Spreadsheet of anti-racism resources to help individuals further educate themselves. This list was compiled by the University’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

In hopes of educating others, Charles Alexander created a Google Drive composed of free PDF novels on Black leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman and texts on the Black Panther Party. Every article in the folder is free for people to use for educational purposes.

Stay Informed

Whether through social media or news outlets, it is important to stay updated on events related to police reform and the Black Lives Matter movement. With an abundance of information, students are encouraged to fact check and find sources supporting what they read to ensure accuracy. Spectrum News provides live updates on protests and politics specifically for New York City. 

Donate for FREE

Several YouTubers have created videos pledging to donate 100% of the generated ad revenue in the videos to organizations that support and advocate for Black lives. Revive Music created a 24-hour live stream of hip-hop music, with all profits being donated to the Black Lives Matter organization. To allow ads to play, your search engine’s Ad Blocker must be turned off. Watching this live stream, including playing it in the background or on silent, will automatically generate revenue that will be donated.

In today’s age of ever-fast streaming of online information, updates on cases involving racial injustices and information on how to help are continuously changing. Information provided in this article may change with time. The Pace Press will work to update articles with the latest information and encourages students to find ways to stay correctly informed by referencing social media or other news outlets.