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UH Coogs All-In leads march for social justice

UH Coogs All-In led a march from Lynn Eusan park all the way to TDECU for the Black Lives Matter movement, Asian-American anti-racism and gender equality. | Donna Keeya/The Cougar

UH Coogs All-In- Diversity and Inclusion council, a UH athletics organization, led a march across campus Monday aiming to raise awareness on racial and social injustices.

The council’s mission is to amplify awareness and provide resources for the diversity that inhabits UH  and they accomplished that as they marched from Lynn Eusan park all the way to TDECU for the Black Lives Matter movement, Asian-American anti-racism and gender equality.

“I knew something needed to be done after seeing what’s going on with the news,” said technology leadership and innovative management junior, Alexis Cheatum, who also organized this march.  

“The increased hate towards Asian-Americans, the death of George Floyd, and multiple black people who are victims of police brutality, not only that, but after the March Madness women’s compared to men’s tournament and the inequality and unfairness that was demonstrated, we had to do something.”

Students of all different clubs and organizations, faculty, staff, and people of all races came out in support.

Before the march took off, many different representatives came out to share their story and spoke about what motivated them to participate in the march.

“I am pre-med, and when people learn this fact about me, they usually say ‘oh, it’s because she’s Asian,’ but what does that even mean?” said nutrition sophomore Olivia Lam.

“I want to practice medicine not because I am Asian but because I have a passion for it, but the fact is the first thing people see about me is my race and from that, people build what they think I should be. I am not your model minority.”

Lam transitioned from identifying stereotypes towards Asians to the brutality the Asian community is enduring.

“The hardest thing to hear during this whole year of Covid is that there is no such thing as racism towards Asians. Tell that to the racially motivated deaths, the 2,800 self reported violent attacks since last march,” Lam said.

Many of the speakers spoke about the extent and commonality of these violent and targeted occurrences against the Asian and Black communities across the country.

“My parents came here from the Barbados, and my dad is super dark skinned so he has been pulled over countless times here.” said finance senior Zionah Brown.

“He has been asked if his car was his simply because they didn’t think he could legally obtain it, he has had his dignity taken away from him, he has been told to sit in the street at gunpoint when no crime had actually occurred.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee made an appearance as well.

“I don’t hate but I want to be free, I want to be free, you march in the name of freedom and we march in your name,” she chanted.

As the march took off, students flooded the sidewalks of the campus, demonstrating their cause with a composed movement, chanting that they wanted justice and peace, until they reached TDECU stadium.

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