THEO PESIRIDIS `18
On the evening of Thursday,Nov. 23, a group of Trinity students, faculty, clergy, and others members of the community met at the Trinity College Chapel to stand in solidarity with St. Louis, Missouri. The event symbolized Trinity College’s stand with Ferguson, and its firm belief in peace and equality.
The night began with the reading of a number of prayers that have been recited in Ferguson since the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014. Assistant Chaplain John Selders and Chaplain Allison Read recited the prayers, and both offered the same message. They prayed for a final end to racism in the United States of America, and for a love between Americans. The prayers called for an end to unnecessary violence and death, and, most importantly, an end to fear. Moving forward into the event, speeches were given by various students and faculty members such as Professor Seth M. Markle.
Professor Markle commented on the ongoing injustice towards young African American males occurring in the United States, and on the increased militarization of United States police officers. Continuing his speech, Professor Markle recounted the recent killings of black youth such as Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown as certain evidence of existing racism within the country. He concluded as the prayers did, with a call for peace and unity.
The speakers at the event all spoke primarily about their fear of interaction with authorities and of the injustice within the system. A few of the people present at the event even expressed experiences with authorities in which they feared for their lives and experienced differential treatment because of race. They all indicated a need for change in the system, and elimination of constant fear.
At the end of the night, the community present at the event was connected directly to St. Louis, Missouri through a Skype call with Reverend Osgyefu Uhuru Sekou. In the call, the Reverend proclaimed the need for freedom fighters. The Reverend called for an expansion of the message presented at the Trinity College Solidarity event and the need to do more. This expansion could simply mean spreading the message through the Hartford area and not necessarily traveling all the way to Missouri in order to become a freedom fighter: anything to get the message of the movement outside the walls of Trinity College and to everywhere possible.
When asked about his thoughts on the event, Chaplain John Selders said, “It is my belief that what is happening in Ferguson is a microcosm of what is happening, and what is beginning to happen, across the world, and we here at Trinity represent that world. It matters that our student body is gathering and protesting against injustice. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Ferguson in solidarity.”