MEMPHIS ─ The Christian Brothers University’s (CBU)
chapter of the NAACP hosted a “Knowledge is Power Teach-In” on December 11 to
educate students, faculty and community members about race relations and
current issues plaguing the African-American community.
Students and community members gathered in the Sabbatini Lounge
to participate in a discussion surrounding recent incidents that led to the
deaths of two African-American men, Eric Garner and Michael Brown, both
involving police officers.
After receiving national coverage, protests and riots
ignited across the nation and a “Black Lives Matter” campaign surfaced forcing
Americans to look at race relations more closely.
CBU professors, Dr.
Jeff Gross and Dr. Leigh Johnson led the discussion and presented their arguments
about how everyone─ including college students, can play a role against injustice
Dr. Gross, an English professor and advisor to CBU’s NAACP
chapter, used the deaths of Brown and Garner to paint a larger picture of race
relations for students.
“Through the teach-in, we hoped to contextualize the deaths
of Michael Brown and Eric Garner within a broader context to illustrate the
inequalities present in U.S. society, education, housing, labor and criminal
justice,” he said. “We hope students will understand that ‘Black Lives Matter’
aims to draw attention to these disparities and to encourage citizens to change
society to meet the needs of all citizens, especially African Americans.”
Dr. Johnson, a philosophy professor at CBU, said that
conversations surrounding race relations on college campuses are needed for
moral conscience and sensitivity.
“Conversations like those that
took place at the #BlackLivesMatter Teach-In last Thursday night are absolutely
critical on college campuses, especially at Lasallian institutions like CBU,
where cultivating morally and politically conscientious students is an
essential part of our educational mission, “she said. “I feel extremely fortunate to have been a
part of that event and I could not have been more impressed with the
sensitivity, thoughtfulness and conviction exhibited by everyone—students,
faculty, staff and community members—who participated.”
more information on the NAACP Chapter at CBU, visit www.cbu.edu/naacp, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.