WILMINGTON — Giving a perspective on protests, police, and persecution was the focus of a student-led discussion.
Wilmington College hosted their “Red, Black and Blue” Community Discussion at the Pyle Student Center and virtually through Facebook Live Tuesday night.
The event was set to find a common ground and it welcomed all perspectives regarding Red Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, and Blues Lives Matter and their movements and recent events.
The event was moderated by members of the college’s Diversity in Action (DNA) organization — DNA coordinator Tre Stubbs and DNA director Ariana Riccardi.
A panel was also present to give their perspectives that included Wilmington Police Chief Ron Cravens, Cincinnati firefighter and WC alumni Dale Fulton, and Bomani Moyenda of the Black Lives Matter Movement in the Miami Valley.
Topics of the night included “What does it mean for a life to matter?”; the protests that occurred over the summer; and the role first-responders had in the discussion.
Students were also allowed to give their perspectives and ask questions.
Cravens mentioned how he felt that all lives matter — citing his religious beliefs — and felt that the City of Wilmington had done a lot of good work with training and accountability. Cravens cited how officers stepped up to report a case of excessive violence.
He also praised the people who organized and participated in the Black Lives Matter protest in the city and felt Wilmington’s protest should be seen as an example.
Moyenda spoke about how felt whenever someone says “All lives matter” it’s in disregard to the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement. He also discussed the rallies and protests held in Yellow Springs and why the murder of George Floyd affected so many.
“I think what really got a lot of people was the complacency of the police officer (Derek Chauvin), the look on his face, knowing that he was being recorded. Thinking that ‘I can kill this black man … handcuffed, with my knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes and get away with it,’” said Moyenda.
Moyenda and Fulton both praised the efforts of the current and younger generations getting involved with current affairs. Fulton spoke about how he saw his daughter among those at a Cincinnati protest.
“I thought our generation was the last one to try to speak up about equality and injustice. But when I saw her down there with her friends and younger people like your age, I had a sense of hope,” said Fulton.
Fulton also shared personal experiences he’s faced and what he’s seen firsthand as a first-responder.
Both moderators felt the event was a success.
“I think it went well, there were some good discussions,” said Stubbs, adding he felt like this wouldn’t have happened in a normal classroom setting.
Riccardi felt similar and was happy with the turnout, and the discussions that resulted involving the different perspectives.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574