By Adriana Pacheco
KU’s Lady Blossoms and the NAACP will co-host the presentation “Unshackle Our Chains” on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in McFarland Student Union room 183. The goal of the discussion is to bring awareness to gun violence and police brutality against African Americans.
Local NAACP members will lead the discussion, which included history and facts about the Million Man March. Dr. Ellesia Blaque, Dr. Arthur H. Garrison and Dr. Thomas Robinson III will use their combined knowledge in their individual fields of African American literature, law and psychology, respectively, to share their views on the issues the African American community faces today.
The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session, open to the campus community.
“It is very important we bring this event to KU because, as a predominately white institution, I don’t think many students understand our issues,” said Jareese Long, president of Lady Blossoms, which is an organization concerned with motivating and inspiring women to reach academic success.
“Not that they don’t want to understand, but because they don’t think it affects them,” said Long.
“Unshackle Our Chains” is based on the NAACP’s Youth and College Division #iMatter campaign, whose main goal is to create a safer community without violence.
Local chapters of the NAACP helped organize the first Million Man March, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with a gathering in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 10.
The Million Man March took place on Oct. 16, 1995. It was led by the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. According to the Nation of Islam website, “The purpose was for Black men to take responsibility for their own actions and to help develop their own communities, and to atone for their lack of responsibility.”