Equity Over Injustice Rally

On August 27, the Diversity Center held the Equity Over Injustice Rally, an event described on the circulated flyer as “healing in this moment for the movement.” This rally was held at the UIS Colonnade. Students, faculty, staff and administrators were all invited to take part in a peaceful movement to recognize “the current national climate, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and student voices.”

            The Diversity Center is a safe space on campus that has been a community of inclusivity for students, supplying resources to help them on their academic journey. This past summer, the Diversity Center paired with the Women’s Center and Gender and Sexuality Student Services to host “Summer Vibe Checks,” an opportunity for the members of the UIS community to come together and heal. This is where the Diversity Center states the idea of the rally came from, saying, “It was through these ‘vibe checks’ and various one-on-one conversations with students that we felt it was important to host a rally to address national conversations… and for the greater Springfield community to hear from the UIS community.”

            When asked over email about the energy at the rally, the initial response from  the Diversity Center’s representative was “powerful,” going on to say that this was not just a general rally but was deeply personal. Also, that “[f]rom those who spoke, this rally was about family, allyship, personal experiences, national and personal injustices, healing, and so much more.” The event exceeded their expectations and the amount of support at this rally could be seen by all those who attended.

            Those in charge of this event were extremely aware of the risks that come with assembling crowd during a global pandemic and the event was held responsibly. For example, masks were worn if physical distancing was not possible. Overall, the Diversity Center once again gave the students a voice on this campus and will continue to be a welcoming, trustworthy resource for students in the future.