The threat of rain didn’t stop over 50 students, faculty, administration and even a state representative from marching to help end racial profiling on Drake’s campus.
With signs held high the crowd walked from Helmick Commons to the Black Cultural Center on campus. Sophomore Napoleon Douglas started off the march with his rendition of the national anthem.
Senior Deric Kimler followed by asking how many people knew what actually happened outside of Jewett Hall in March. He spoke about those who were slandered on the campus and how society is “still fighting for the cause (racial equality) today.”
Vice President of the Coalition of Black Students, Freddie Fulton, was next in line to speak before the march. He recounted a story of a recent trip he took to a leadership conference in Indianapolis, Ind. At the conference, he said a quote that he had heard many times before it finally rang true for him: “I am my brother’s keeper, and together we will rise.”
“Together, we will rise as a nation,” Fulton said.
As Fulton finished his speech, the group made its way down Painted Street, where in front of Jewett Hall, the story of the incident was told once again. Chants of “Fired up, ready to go!” echoed throughout the area.
Junior Eris Hawkins was one of the students marching that day. She said that she was marching because the Jewett Hall incident was “the most blatant incident that has happened recently.” She added that incidents like that happen everyday.
As the group passed Old Main and Cole Hall, Vice Provost Wanda Everage stood in solidarity, with her fist raised. The group clapped and cheered as it passed.
At the BCC, Fulton once again spoke, saying that he wanted to hug everyone in attendance.
Jennifer Harvey, associate professor of religion, addressed the crowd from the steps of the BCC. She thanked CBS for organizing the march and rally, and also acknowledged President David Maxwell and Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad for their attendance as well.
“(The incident) did not reveal anything particularly new,” Harvey said. She went on to say “our greatest danger” is the apathy of those that do not agree with those statements.
She said that being nervous about talking about race is normal, but that she hopes a Drake education will help students become “less normal” in that aspect.
She echoed that courage was a word used a lot since the incident.
“Courage is something learned,” Harvey said.