As conversations and protests surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement continue nationally, students running the BLM at EIU social media pages are planning activism at Eastern.
Morgan Colvin, a graduate student studying public admin/public policy, and Shyra Bluminberg, a graduate student studying English education, spoke in two videos on the BLM at EIU Facebook page outlining the group’s plans for the semester.
Their broad plan is nicknamed Operation PROLAPEA, an acronym for “political activism, resources, organizing, leadership development, action plan, petition, education and advocacy.”
The plan includes meeting with students and leaders on campus and in the community to discuss issues on campus, communicating with President Glassman and working to attain the resources that black students need.
Colvin and Bluminberg have also renewed their push to have a Black Lives Matter flag flown on campus; their petition for a flag was denied in December of 2018 as Glassman cited concerns about the community’s response.
In the meantime, BLM at EIU has unofficially dubbed the first week of classes “Black Lives Matter Week” and planned activities that students can participate in while following guidelines to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Monday’s protest will be “Chalk it Out.” Students are invited to come to the Mellin steps and pick up a piece of chalk to write in Eastern’s designated free speech area.
On Tuesday, protestors are encouraged to put a piece of tape over their mouths to represent the Black Lives Matter movement’s resistance to being silenced.
Wednesday and Thursday’s protests are social media oriented, as black men are invited to share their stories of discrimination and pictures holding signs stating “I Am A Man,” and black women are invited to do the same with the phrase “I Am Her.”
The week wraps up on Friday with “I’m Black and I’m Proud,” when students are asked to wear their Black Lives Matter or “black excellence” apparel.
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