CINCINNATI — On Monday, Mount St. Joseph University Freshman Kayla Hess participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. march on campus. Prior to the march, she, along with other students, created a sign. She said the focus of her sign is to emphasize the fact that Black lives matter.
“Obviously, it’s important that all lives matter, but Black lives matter especially because during the recent events. I just feel like they’ve been silenced,” said Hess.
And that is why she said she needed to participate in the march.
“I just feel like it’s important, especially as a white person, to come out and support African Americans and just to show that we’re standing by them and that we’ll be right there to support them and advocate for their rights,” she said.
Hess was one of dozens of students and faculty to take part in the march Monday. It was Hess’ first time and something she said she’s glad she did.
“It’s been exciting,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to participate in a march, but I’ve never known where to go or who to get in contact with to do so. But, I like how the school is offering the students to participate in a march.”
This is Mount St. Joseph’s first-ever march on campus. MSJ Black Student Union President Melissa Duke was instrumental in putting it together. And says she hopes the march will be a catalyst for change.
“I like it is a big start to the solution,” said Duke. “I definitely feel like this will become a tradition for Martin Luther King week for years on end at Mount Saint Joseph and hopefully it will inspire other universities to do the same.”
As for Hess, she says she believes events like these can help inspire people on both a personal and broader level to put dr. King’s ideals into action.
“I definitely think it’s a part of the solution,” she said. “I think what we can do is take small steps first like attending marches and vocalizing African Americans deserve equality.”