The Black Student Association organized an event called “Blackout at Belmont” in an effort to stand in solidarity with students at the University of Missouri and other campuses across the nation Thursday evening.
Those who participated wore black all day and were encouraged to meet in front of the Beaman to discuss and express concerns and unite in prayer.
The sky was already dark as students trickled in on the front steps outside of the Beaman. It was cold and windy, but before the students did anything, they grabbed each other’s hands and were led in prayer.
Following the opening prayer, students were reassured it was a safe place to express their feelings and encouraged to share what was on their hearts.
Junior Price McKinney was one of the students who attended and shared with the group.
“It is very important we meet in those kinds of settings. It not only shows we support other schools, but also we take the health of the school seriously, and we value this place as our home,” McKinney said.
Freshman Jody Iyamu is new to Belmont but was encouraged by the event and the people there.
“It is good to be around people that are just like you so you can learn and grow from each other and build on the community in a bigger and better way,” Iyamu said.
Junior Justin Lang, president of the Black Student Association, created the event in hopes to help show solidarity to all the different students at different schools who felt threatened or uncomfortable on their campus.
“Tonight was a reminder we have people around us who can encourage, help us figure out how to direct those feelings into action and how to take steps toward making things better,” Lang said.
It was an event that brought people of all different backgrounds, races and emotions together to share, be heard and be lifted up.
Article and photo by Jessica Johnson.