AIKEN, SC (02/05/2018) Members the University of South Carolina Aiken student body organized a campus-wide Solidarity Day to kick off Black History Month.
The Black History Month Steering Committee asked all members of the USC Aiken community to wear black on Feb. 1 as a show of unity and mourning for those who lost their lives in the pursuit of racial equality and as way to display support for the fight against prejudice.
"Solidarity Day is important because it presents a message of support for Black History Month and shows a unified front against discrimination, racism, and prejudice," said Nikia Franklin, president of the USC Aiken College Chapter of the NAACP and chair of the Black History Month Steering Committee.
"It is very evident that we do not live in a perfect world, but when people come together to take a stand it shows that we can make the world a better place."
As far as participation, Franklin, a junior psychology major, said she was "thoroughly pleased" with the turnout.
"It was empowering to see members of the student body, faculty, staff and members of the community support such a worthy cause."
She adds, though, that she hoped more students would participate. She believes some may have erroneously thought the event applied only to the African-American community. Franklin clarifies that was certainly not the case.
"I want everyone to understand that Solidarity Day was a show of support for all those who lost their lives or are currently in pursuit of racial justice. The power and significance of all major movements is the diversity of those who support the movement."
The Black History Steering Committee has several events lined up for the month of February. These activities are open to the public. For more information, go to: www.usca.edu/diversity .
The committee is made up of USC Aiken student leaders interested in planning, programming, and executing events aimed at celebrating unity through Black history.