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People of color create safe space on campus

“The University was built for white men,” Beshea said. “We’re making a space to allow people of color to come together and celebrate, which wasn’t the purpose of this university at all.”

The first event, the People of Color Caucus, took place on Thursday but it did not have a set objective, said event coordinator Kim Hoàng.

“Our only goal is to provide a safe place where people of color are able to express themselves,” Beshea said.

The second event, People of Color Takeover the Quad, takes place today.

Event coordinator Christina Perkins said the takeover will be a place of healing and connection in an unstructured space.

“We’ll be interacting with fellow people of color and getting resources to aid in healing processes,” Perkins said. “There will be artists, authors, programs, musicians and contacts for therapists in the area that are people of color. It’s just time for music and connection.”

The People of Color Takeover the Quad event is hosted by the Real Silent Sam Coalition.

Beshea said the organization aims to unite students in resisting racism.

“The Real Silent Sam Coalition is supposed to be an organization that combats anti-blackness and racism on this campus and in the neighboring communities,” Beshea said.

Beshea said the takeover is more about coming together than confronting issues. The Real Silent Sam Coalition has been involved in a number of protests recently, including at University Day on Oct. 12.

“Protesting is hard to do all the time,” Beshea said. “The takeover is more about just taking a second and realizing that it’s not always about protests. It’s about the struggle and the struggle takes a long time.”

While the caucus and the takeover are both events for people of color, Hoàng said they were organized separately.

“The takeover is being hosted by the Real Silent Sam Coalition, while the caucus was planned by a group of students and not under any official organization,” she said.

White allies are welcome to come to People of Color Takeover the Quad, but they are asked to respect the event as a safe place for people of color. White allies were not invited to the caucus.

“This University and society basically have exemplified the fact that we’re not wanted in every aspect, whether that be racist monuments around campus or the rate of people of color that get into this university,” Perkins said.

Perkins said the People of Color events aim to overcome the feeling of separation.

“The University is not set up for us, so we opt to take this space and celebrate the fact that we are here regardless of the things and the people that try to keep us down,” she said.

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