By Mallory Harris | Reporter
At 4:30 p.m. Monday, a unity march was held on Fountain Mall. Different organizations were assembled to bring awareness about social and racial injustices across the world. With around 100 people in attendance, there were posters bringing about justice, chants urging votes to end racism and an ending prayer for unity across the world. Multiple students and senior faculty attended the march in solidarity to support the cause.
Aurora, Colo., junior Sam Onilenla had the idea to have a unity march and brought it to life. Being the lead speaker of the march, Onilenla spoke about how Baylor students can be a light in relation to events happening within the country and around the world. One of the key points of the march was to educate peers about previous social and racial biases.
“[Someone] has to push to want to see better from Baylor and push Baylor people to be better and to show unity,” Onilenla said. “No matter where we all come from … people want to educate themselves and learn how to be better for the people around them, because ultimately it’s about loving one another.”
Due to COVID-19, many students were unable to attend marches or protests that highlighted racial injustice, and so the unity march was their first time to physically show their support. Representing the Vietnamese Student Association, Arlington sophomore Jonathan Nguyen explained how this march is the first step in having a conversation on campus about inequality.
“I think Baylor — as a predominantly white institution — it’s very important to have these certain conversations,” Nguyen said. “I applaud [President] Linda Livingstone and her team for openly trying to combat these injustices.”
Having the opportunity to freely speak their voice on a topic where silence is common is what sparked many students to join the march. San Antonio sophomore Meyana Herbic shared an experience where people weren’t allowed to speak up about racism and how it motivated her to stand up. Herbic also explained that as a representative of Baylor’s Filipino Student Association, it was great to see the university welcome the voices of students and demonstrate their passion for equality.
Along with students, many senior faculty and staff were also present at the unity march in support of acknowledging discrimination around the world and connecting it to campus. To many students’ surprise, President Linda Livingstone and the first gentleman Brad Livingstone came in solidarity of the cause.
Also wanting to support students, the director of wellness Dominque Hill appeared at the march. With events happening around the world, Hill explained that having a unity march like this one shows students how to stand together as a community.
“I think it was just to bring awareness that there is a need for unity, that there might be a misconception that people are so divided especially during an election year. I think this is just a show of ‘hey, we need to be unified as a student body,’ and coming together was symbolic of that,” Hill said.
While the main goal of the unity march was to bring awareness to social and racial injustices around the world, a deeper meaning of standing as one and loving one another was also shared, Onilenla explained. In having these conversations, Baylor University strives to be better in the fight against systemic racism.
“We are especially mindful of unchecked patterns of brutality and cruelty experienced by Black people, and systemic racism that sets the foundation for these experiences. We are committed to working toward ways in which we can be better: better prepared to support those who suffer and are hurting, and more intentional in our actions for justice,” a statement on racial injustice and violence from the Baylor psychology and neuroscience department said.