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PLNU diversity officer addresses Ferguson on Coastline News

Jeffrey Carr, chief diversity officer at PLNU, appeared on Coastline News on Dec. 4 to discuss Ferguson protests as the start to a larger campus conversation about student involvement in the nation’s conversation about race, protest and injustice.

Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by white officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. Protests erupted in Ferguson and all over the U.S. after a St. Louis grand jury decided to not indict Wilson on Nov. 24.

“We brought him in because he’s the chief diversity officer here at PLNU and we wanted to get an experts view,” said sophomore Nicholas Kjeldgaard, the Coastline News anchor who interviewed Carr. “We asked how the diversity in Ferguson played into the riots and if PLNU’s bubble keeps us unaware of what goes on in the world.”

Carr explained that throughout the protests, there were two different approaches to show dissatisfaction, one being peaceful and the other violent.

“When you look at [the protests in Ferguson] you have an opportunity to make this more of, not just a moment, but a movement to consider how we as people in our society are responding to the social and economic inequity that exist all around us,” said Carr. “We have to be very careful to not think that this bubble at Point Loma in particular is exempt from these types of things happening.”

On Nov. 26, about 250 protestors gathered in front of the San Diego federal courthouse, about seven miles away from PLNU, and marched up the street to the county courthouse. In City Heights, several hundred protesters marched from the Performance Annex on Fairmount Avenue in San Diego County to the nearby police station, according to the UT.

Ebanezare Tadele, a senior sociology major, wore a sign with the phrase “Hands up, don’t shoot” to school on Dec. 4 to commemorate the shooting of Michael Brown.


Tadele explained that his reason for carrying the sign was to raise awareness and promote solidarity. Carr said that actions and demonstrations like this rely on students’ decision to make this issue a moment or a movement.

Tadele said students need to see that this issue is not isolated to Ferguson.

“I want to show support to all those who are protesting injustice directed at black men in America,” said Tadele. “I feel like the Loma bubble hinders us from knowing what’s going on in the real world … These issues directly affect our students. I, as a black man, am way more likely to be killed by the police than my white classmates. This isn’t a white or black problem, but an American problem.”

The Black Student Union wants to raise awareness of racial aggression in the US that Tadele said has been a problem for decades. The club will be hosting a forum on Ferguson Dec. 9 in Colt Forum at 7 p.m.

“The first step is awareness,” said Tadele. “After awareness is action, you can feel as bad as you want, but if you don’t stand up against injustice, then you are condoning

Ferguson,_Day_4,_Photo_26 "hands up"