Black College Student Leaders Create Coalition for Racial Equality

Black College Student Leaders Create Coalition for Racial Equality

The founding members hail from all eight Ivy League institutions and were inspired by young groups involved in the civil rights movement.

Published September 24, 2014

Spurred on by the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and other unarmed Black men, a group of student leaders from all eight Ivy League institutions have formed the Black Ivy Coalition to launch a movement against racial injustices.

The self-proclaimed aim of the coalition is "to correct the misconception that the civil rights movement is over and the United States exists in a paradigm of post-racism — that the slew of recent deaths is nothing more than a series of isolated incidents.”

Reine Ibala, a junior at Yale University and signee of the coalition’s statement, pointed to the media’s coverage of Brown, Garner and Ezell Ford, noting "a racial disconnect when it came to who thought of these events as isolated incidents rather than manifestations of a systemic issue."

"In light of these polarized responses, we decided to add our voices to resolve the misconception that these incidents are anything less than human rights violations due to a cultural paradigm of continued dehumanization of Black people,” Ibala told the Huffington Post.

Student-led leadership groups that were heavily involved in the civil rights movement, like Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Greensboro Four, served as a source of inspiration for the coalition founders.

To signal the launching, the founding members released a statement on the coalition’s Facebook page and announced plans to include student members from additional colleges nationwide.

"We decided that our plan of action would be to create a network of Black student leaders nationally to organize joint protests, legislative advocacy, and to also reach out to community organizers in communities like Ferguson so we can be more effective allies and campus advocates," Denzel Cummings, University of Pennsylvania senior and UMOJA Co-Chair, told the Huffington Post. "We felt this was important in creating a revival of collegiate advocacy.”

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(Photo: Black Ivy Coalition)

Written by Patrice Peck

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