Well over 100 students, staff and community members rallied in support of the Black community on Monday after a Bowling Green State University employee reportedly made racist comments.
Rebecca Skinner Green, who organized the protest, said a BGSU employee made some “vile, violent racist comments that I thought needed to be responded to.
“It really disturbed me profoundly,” she said.
She wrote to President Rodney Rogers and posted her letter so other faculty could see it.
“There was quite a response to that and suddenly I had other faculty who were interested, and we really wanted to show our students and the staff and the faculty on campus — the Black students and faculty and staff on campus — that we supported them and that we were behind them and we couldn’t let this go,” Skinner Green said.
There were over 100 people who came out Monday at noon in the heart of campus. They gathered in front of the Bowen Thompson Student Union, starting with observing a 9-minute moment of silence, then marched to the president’s office where they chanted “Black lives matter.”
“This came together very organically,” said Skinner Green, who teaches in the School of Art and Department of Art History and is the director of Africana Studies.
She believes there will be more rallies.
“The faculty who have come together and who have said they want to have a voice in this are talking about having future events. This is not a one and done,” she said. “We want to continue to have some additional events and some real conversations so we can look at what the university can do.
“The university is doing work, for sure, already. But we need to see what else we can do to get more Black faculty and faculty of color on campus, to get more students, to get more support in their work and their research.”
Emily Dunipace, community co-chair of Not In Our Town, was pleased to see the City of Bowling Green response at Monday’s rally, in addition to the BGSU support.
“Honestly, there’s no place in our society, (for) the racism that is occurring, that has occurred. It needs to stop now,” she said.
The “racist, vile” words that were used should be considered as a threat, Dunipace said.
“We can’t let it slide anymore when people are using that type of language. It has to be addressed,” she said.
Miles Redd-Jones, a freshman at BGSU, said he was pleased with the turnout, but the university community could do more.
“This is our first protest, so probably more of those,” he said. “More people being conscious about what’s going on, because a lot of people aren’t. They’re worried about corona and everything else.”
(Sentinel-Tribune multi-media journalist J.D. Pooley did the interviews for this story.)