17 Aug 2017

SAU Student Leader Urges a Response to Charlottesville

Kendrick Cunningham, the student trustee for Saint Augustine’s University’s (SAU) Board of Trustees, has charged the SAU student body to rally together to counter the actions that took place in Charlottesville on the campus of the University of Virginia. Read his message below–

Dear Falcon Nation, 

Every second that ticks away is a moment of history that engraves in the past of our minds. Last weekend, there was a group of people who marched on the campus of the University of Virginia (UVA) to rally against the removal of the Robert E. Lee Confederate monument in Charlottesville. The marchers then confronted counterprotesters who were at the UVA march in support of the removal of the Confederate monument. In response, the marchers began to surround and attack the counterprotesters, sparking a violent uproar. Due to the violent emotional interaction that occurred at UVA, protesters from both opposing sides violently clashed the next day at the Unite the Right rally. 

It is important to realize that the Charlottesville Race Riot is the history of our generation. In that moment, the morality of the people of Charlottesville was tested in the wake of local officials’ decision to advance civil rights by removing a Confederate monument. Unfortunately, this moment revealed that there is still a group of citizens who wish to exclusively advance our nation in the favor of one sociological group. As students of Saint Augustine’s University, it is important that we answer the call that the universe has bestowed upon us to assist in the advancement of civil rights in modern society. We must begin to mobilize and show politicians that we are not content with the environment and experience we live through every day. Right now, the grounds of our state capitol is adorned with Confederate monuments and we have the power as North Carolina residents to have them removed and replaced. 

We are the next generation of leaders who have the independence to become change agents. The urgency of now calls us to replace the discriminatory narrative that has been articulated for many generations. We can transform this narrative into an uplifting paradigm that embodies resistance, liberation, and hope that progresses all communities. We are studying in academic disciplines that are doorways to a world of information. We must begin to use our intellectual capital to develop unbiased solutions that socially impact all communities in positive ways. Together, we can make history that creates a better today and tomorrow for many generations to come. Let’s show the world that the color of our skin and the origin of our ancestors do not politically or socially define who we are as individuals. That alone can spark change globally. Enjoy your semester! 

In preparation for the battle, 

Kendrick D. Cunningham 
Student Trustee, 2016-2018