UNCC students stage Scott protest
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Posted by: Valerie Arendt
Patrice Williams is the MSW Student Liaison for NASW-NC.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- University of North Carolina at Charlotte students staged a protest in response to the shooting of a Keith Scott last week minutes away from campus.
"It happened in our area," said Patrice Williams, a masters in social work student at UNCC. "We will no longer let this go silent."
Williams led a chant of "hands up, don't shoot," near the student union. They started with about 15 people, but as they looped around campus the crowd grew larger. This is the second demonstration on UNCC campus since the Scott shooting. Students and faculty of all raced joined in.
"If we stop now, nothing gets done," said UNCC grad student Heather Hicks. "We can talk about it and talk about it, but we have to do something about it."
Some students stood and observed the protesters, and one shouted, "All Lives Matter", which was eventually drowned out by "Black Lives Matter."
"Some people just need to be educated on this topic and that's what we're here for," said Andrea Age, a UNCC senior.
Many of the students participating in the protest are future social workers.
"This is bigger than me now, bigger than what I came into the program with my mind on," said Williams. "As a social worker, it is my job and my duty to get out there seek justice for people who can't do it for themselves. We shouldn't be scared to drive, we shouldn't be scared to walk at night, we shouldn't be afraid to just sit in our car, sit in our and wait for our kids, youth or whatever."
UNCC's Chancellor Phillip Dubois released a statement saying he fielded numerous calls from parents concerned about the protests. He said the school respects students right to demonstrate peacefully. He also added that the university was aware of the protest and campus police were present to ensure everyone's safety.
Dubois says UNCC has created a Demonstration Activity Resource Team to act as a facilitator and resource to demonstration organizers. Students are planning a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at the quad near the student union at 9:30.
Copyright 2016 WCNC
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