This summer, the video of George Floyd’s death rocked the U.S and sparked a revolution set on ending the systemic racism in the country. Communities across the country have shown their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and Marian was no exception. Many students used their voices to contribute to the movement through social media, through protesting, and just by talking about it.
Senior Callie Cavanaugh has attended multiple protests before, including the Women’s March and the March for Our Lives.
“I was motivated to protest because I wanted to use my voice and presence to help educate others about the Black Lives Matter Movement, police brutality, and the history of persistent systemic racism in this country,” said Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh marched with friends, signs in hand, along 72nd and Dodge, and ended the protest with a rally in Memorial Park. Cavanaugh described the protest as peaceful.
“The environment was so empowering, there were peaceful chants, inspiring speakers, and the energy was positive and hopeful.”
Senior Tory Roubidoux went to a protest that wasn’t as peaceful, but equally as powerful. “The protest was extremely energized, you could feel the public unrest over George Floyd’s death- not JUST his death, but the years and years of suppression and mistreatment the Black community has faced,” said Roubidoux. “The peacefulness of the protest didn’t last long because soon police forces were throwing flash-bangs and pushing into the crowd… Right before the first flash-bang was thrown there was a moment of silence and in that moment I knew these protests were unlike anything I had ever witnessed in my lifetime thus far.”
As powerful as this protest was for both students, it also reminded them that the U.S still has a ways to go until fixing this problem. “It made me sad and angry that in 2020 this still had to be happening…” said Cavanaugh. “Though the protest was empowering it made me all the more aware that action and REAL CHANGE are imperative.”
So how else can the Marian student body create real change? Self reflection helps us recognize any biases we may have, and work to erase them. “It is very easy for girls to stay inside their bubbles of privilege,” said Cavanaugh.
“As a predominantly white school, we as students should recognize how we may contribute to harmful language & microaggressions,” said Roubidoux, “We need to take more accountability for our actions and the culture we contribute to.”
She stressed the importance of showing others their biases too. “…confronting the issues within your own INNER circle is super important. You can’t educate everyone, so sometimes it comes down to just standing up for your own morals and being able to say ‘At least I said something.’”
In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to support the movement. You can sign petitions and make donations in one click. Support the black community, and listen to their needs. If you’re old enough, vote. The more you educate yourself and others, the smaller the problem gets. Change happens one person at a time.