Seeking Positive Change

Students rally in response to Ferguson violence

Student leaders at the University of Missouri-Kansas City held a rally, march and candlelight prayer vigil to commemorate recent events in Ferguson, Mo., in the wake of the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.

The students said their intent is to raise awareness on campus about the situation and to promote a constructive response.

The event was organized by leaders of the campus chapter of the NAACP: Danielle McFadden, president, and Carly M. Jones, vice president. Both are seniors majoring in Business Administration.

The evening’s events began at Bloch Executive Hall, where student and administration speakers called for recognition of the frustration and pain in communities like Ferguson, and for open, peaceful dialog to seek positive change. Chancellor Leo E. Morton told the students of his own experience growing up in Alabama during the civil rights era, and said there is cause for hope, even as much work remains to be done.

UMKC Police Chief Michael Bongartz pledged his department’s commitment to mutual respect between students and police. Bongartz and Dean of Students Eric Grospitch then joined about 100 students for a march to the UMKC African-American History and Culture House, where students lit candles, prayed and recited poetry.

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