Ohio University NAACP Holds Rally Against Racial Injustice

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The Labor Day holiday saw dozens of Ohio University students gathered in the Scripps Ampitheater to participate in a rally on campus.

The Ohio University chapter of the NAACP held the War on Black Rally, calling students and the community to speak out against racial injustices.

The rally was organized to remember four men who were shot and killed by police in the last month, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, and Michael Brown.

"We wanted (the rally) to be as soon as possible," said OU NAACP President Shambrion Treadwell. "The Mike Brown incident is going on now and we don't want to do it a month later."

Students read poetry, danced, and shared experiences all in the hopes of starting a conversation about racial injustices locally and nationwide.

The newly revived group doesn't plan to stop here, they already have plans to take their concerns to the Athens Police Department, discussing how the black community views the police, and how the police view the black community.

Performers like senior Ryant Taylor, who is a creative writing major, hope that their experiences can help spark change in the community.

"It takes people like us," said Taylor, "Young people who will say this isn't right, we're gonna speak up, we're gonna be vocal about it".

"It's very important that not only OU but Athens understand how we're feeling" said OU NAACP Vice-President Alexis Apparicio. "The black community at OU is upset, we're angry that stuff like this keeps happening and we want our voices heard."

“We have a duty to fight. We have a duty to win. We must love and protect one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Chants echoed through the crowd as the final speaker took the stage.

Treadwell said the group's main goal is still to bring about social change.

"We want to start locally here in Athens since this is where we go to school," said Treadwell. "Then contribute nationally and branch out nationally."