Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Columbus Police were the police department involved in the fatal shooting. The Blendon Township Police were the department involved.
Ohio University’s Black Student Union, or BSU, met in Baker Center on Thursday to host Time for Change, a silent march in solidarity with Ta’Kiya Young.
Young was a 21-year-old pregnant woman who was fatally shot by Blendon Township Police Aug. 24 outside a Kroger in Blendon Township. She was accused of shoplifting. Her death has caused outrage against the Blendon Township police in Ohio and across the country.
Trinity Robinson, a junior studying business and the president of BSU, said she was approached by a faculty member at the first BSU general body meeting who suggested the organization create some sort of event for students to relate to each other in more than just sadness.
“When we continuously unite over the bad things that are very prevalent in our media, it just creates this dark cloud,” Robinson said. “It’s already hard being Black and Brown at a (predominantly-white institution) and everything that’s outside in our community, affecting us consistently because it’s people that look like us being gunned down in the street.”
Alexis Thomas, a junior studying restaurant hotel tourism, said the march was important to her because she felt it concerned an issue that is not highlighted enough in the local media.
Thomas said she believes advocacy for issues such as police brutality go unseen in Athens because it is such a small town that is very disconnected from the rest of the world.
James Williams, a student studying special education, said he attended the silent march to show solidarity with the Black and Brown people who are killed on a daily basis.
“It’s important for us to come together … not just Black folks, but everybody. It was great to see every race come together in support of this movement, and seeing how this doesn’t just start with us,” Williams said.
The BSU decided to hold a silent march to shed light on the importance of knowing that a person should not have to scream to be heard, Robinson said.
“We shouldn’t have to feel subjected to correcting microaggressions. We shouldn’t feel subjected to checking our professors when they are wrong and saying different things about us,” Robinson said. “We should not have to yell to be heard when there are not that many of us against the vast majority in any room. And we should not yell to be heard to simply be respected as individuals.”