The Stonehill Students In Action (SIA) group held a campus sit-in on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, to address racial injustice here on campus. During this event, students, faculty, and alumni spoke about their personal experiences with racial inequalities and called upon Stonehill’s leaders to enact lasting change that will unite the Stonehill community as a true family.
Approximately 300 students, faculty, and staff attended the gathering on the quad for the nearly two-hour event. An additional 260 community members were present via Zoom. SIA student organizers Tahj Valentine, Sayvion Jones, and Glendy Alvarez opened the event with a reading of their recent letter to Stonehill’s administration, which called for the formation of more safe spaces on campus, the creation of a student committee involved in the faculty hiring process, and more communication from Stonehill leadership to students regarding potential changes to the general education curriculum. Several students, including student body president Abe Medeiros, spoke about their experiences with racial injustice and implored the Stonehill community to “stay loud” and maintain the energy needed to foster change. Alexis Thomas turned the simple act of “putting your glasses on” into a powerful metaphor, urging her peers to see things from another perspective. Vocalist Brittney Savage blew everyone away with her rendition of “Walk with Me,” by Goldford.
Many faculty members took to the podium to offer their support and encouragement, including Professor Anne Mattina, who shared the story of Danroy Henry Jr, a Pace University football player who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2010. Then, the event organizers passed the microphone to the crowd, allowing the audience to share their stories and show their support.
Library student aide Erin Mason is a SIA volunteer and part of the graphic design committee that created the SIA logo and event flyers. She attended the sit-in and was moved by the participants’ displays of “meaningful passion for increased diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.” She also stated that the large turnout was “a testament to the immediate need for change at Stonehill.”
If you were unable to attend the SIA Sit-In, you can watch the Zoom recording, available through the OIA’s Intercultural Happenings Newsletter.