Yesterday morning Northwestern University hoisted a Black Lives Matter flag at the Norris University Center to signal the beginning of a fortnight’s worth of what The Daily Northwestern dubs Black Lives Matter “programming.”
An organizer of this “programming,” Danielle Harris, said the University of Vermont student government’s decision to fly the BLM flag back in September “inspired her to do something similar at NU.”
The whole shebang is officially titled “Black Lives Matter: a Northwestern dialogue,” and includes events such as “various talks and open forums,” a screening of the movie “13th,” and “a candlelight vigil for lost black lives.”
Harris says that the dialogues are not centralized “so students can discuss the Black Lives Matter movement outside the framework of a single campus group’s mission.”
It’s probably a very safe bet that those groups’ “missions” don’t vary much, if at all.
Associated Student Government Vice President Macs Vinson highlighted the importance of bringing different students together and said he hopes more groups will become involved.
“Doing these large-scale events that build community, that build coalitions, that unite different groups and students together, is important because this is how we become lasting,” the McCormick senior said. “This is how we create permanence.”
Harris said Norris staff, particularly executive director Jeremy Schenk, were helpful in finding spaces and resources for the programs. Schenk said he believes the administration’s role is to support the students who are heading this initiative.
Schenk described the dialogue’s educational content as “fantastic,” commending the organizers for fostering discussion about how the state of black lives and the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States intersect with the Northwestern experience.
“We want to create a facility where we ensure that everybody is able to build community here,” he said. “We’re really proud of our students who have worked hard to make sure that we can have this really strong two weeks of programming just to engage in the dialogue that’s really important and to be able to do it in a safe and intentional way.”
What does that even mean — “safe and intentional way”? Likely what I noted before: that everyone will be of like mind (safe) with all working towards the same nebulous (and progressive) goal (intentional).
IMAGE: Teacher Dude/Flickr