Students rally for racial justice before Kevin Hart performance


Comedian Kevin Hart performs at the M.A.C. Center on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. The show was sold out within the first 2 hours of ticket sales.

Hannah Armenta

Students rallied together on Saturday night to raise awareness of racial justice and police brutality. 

Several students stood in the cold in front of the M.A.C. Center holding signs and wearing duct tape over their mouths which read ‘I can’t breathe.’ 

“We’re here to just speak out about (those issues) and stand is solidarity, regardless of race, we have black people here, we have Hispanics, we have Asian, we have white people,” said graduate student Michael Davis. 

Davis is the Director of Political Affairs and Grievances for the Kent State Black United Students who has been working with members, faculty, and the Kent police in order to come together and make serious changes regarding racial profiling and diversity.  

Here is the first step, to show people that were standing in solidarity that we are a united front and a united voice,” Davis said. “There’s a step two, there’s a step three to this, we’re showing people here at Kent State University that were holding them accountable.”  

On Nov. 25, BUS held a protest and walked to various checkpoints, including Oscar Richie Hall and the Kent Police station. They also stopped to paint the rock on front campus in memory of Michael Brown, the black teenager killed in Ferguson, Missouri, in August. 

The following morning a swastika was painted over the memorial. The event lit a spark in the KSU administration, including Beverly Warren, who met with students and the Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to discuss steps that need to be taken to make Kent State a more welcoming environment for all students.

“President Warren, she expressed her deepest regards as to wanting to fix the issues that many marginalized students feel on campus,” Graduate student Chris Hicks said. 

Hicks is confident that Warren will follow through with her promises of change, but he says students cannot let her forget to hold her and the administration accountable. 

“What were doing right now is letting people know that we will be holding the accountable,” Hicks said. “Many people have promised us change. Many people have promised that they are doing work on these things and the results don’t happen.”

Contact Hannah Armenta at [email protected].