Students organize march in the wake of racist Charter Oak Incident

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UConn students gathered outside the Student Union to participate in March Against Racism. UConn’s NAACP and UCCO organized the march after the Charter Oak Apartment incident went viral.  Photo by Eric Wang/The Daily Campus

UConn students gathered outside the Student Union to participate in March Against Racism. UConn’s NAACP and UCCO organized the march after the Charter Oak Apartment incident went viral. Photo by Eric Wang/The Daily Campus

At 12 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, hundreds of University of Connecticut students gathered outside of the Student Union to participate in the March Against Racism.  

According to the official flyer of the event, the march was intended to, “Stand United. Fight Hate.” Additionally, it quoted Martin Luther King Jr., writing, “The time is always right to do what is right.”   

UConn’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and UConn Collaborative Organizing (UCCO) organized the march in the aftermath of an incident in which individuals shouted the n-word while walking through the Charter Oak Apartments parking lot on Oct. 11.

The event consisted of opening speeches and instructions by the assistant treasurer of the NAACP at UConn, followed by the march around campus and speeches from students, faculty and staff.   

Professor David Embrick of UConn’s sociology department was in attendance of the march wearing a shirt that read, “White Supremacy is Terrorism.”   

“Injustice anywhere is injustice,” Embrick said, “We should do something about it. I’ve only been here three years, but this university is no different than any other university I’ve been in terms of responsibility from the university administrators to dealing with issues of racism on campus.”  

Embrick also urged UConn students, “Don’t be just allies, be accomplices.”  

Sixth-semester finance major Shane Young said he attended the event to show support and raise awareness for fellow African American students at UConn.  


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“As black students, we can be lost here with such a small percentage of us. It’s so easy to feel marginalized,” Young said, “It’s important [that all students are] reaching out, making sure that you’re creating inclusive spaces and make people feel at home.”  

Sixth-semester biology major Taj Brown said he was in attendance to support the struggle in which “things are said and kept under wraps,” referring to racially charged language on campus.   

“I just want to hear what everyone else is saying as well to see what experience they’ve been through,” Brown said. “I’ve never been in situations like [the situation at the Charter Oak Apartments] so I can’t really complain. I’m just here to support the movement.” 

Fourth-semester English major Tamika Brown said the lack of administration help is what drew her to participate in the march.  

“There is a lack of administration help in the matters of black and brown lives,” Brown said, “People here feel like they aren’t being treated properly and there hasn’t been any true task force being dealt with until today.”  


Grace Burns is campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at grace.burns@uconn.edu.

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