‘Decide to Be the Change’

Social justice activist Shaun King offers context, challenges students to address injustice
February 10th, 2017 by 

Shaun King gives lecture from Hogan Ballroom stage
Photo by: Tory Germann

“It’s hard to understand a moment in history when you’re in it,” said Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King, speaking to the more than 500 students, faculty, staff, and local community members that filled the Hogan Ballroom and Seelos Theatre last Tuesday.

King spent his 60 minute lecture offering examples of slavery, genocide, racial profiling and police brutality to unpack the importance of understanding how injustice fits into human history.

“It is a misconception that because technology has been steadily advancing throughout history, so has humanity,” said King, senior justice writer for New York Daily News and prominent social media figure, invited by the Black Student Union as keynote speaker for Black History Month. “While technology continues to improve, humanity’s path doesn’t follow the same pattern.”

He pointed to two drastically different graphs projected onstage: one illustrating steady growth, and the other showing a series of random peaks and valleys.

The transatlantic slave trade, the Holocaust, and Jim Crow are examples of those valleys, or “dips,” where the world was improving but humanity was declining, he said. No one would argue, he added, that enslaving humans or cultural genocide was “peak humanity,” as a linear progression of humanity would suggest.

This awareness is the first, critical step in recognizing when we are in a dip, which humanity is currently experiencing, he argued. It is only then that humanity can organize in hopes of rising out of it.

After the violence seen throughout the country over the past few years, made exponentially more public and personal through its dissemination via social media, King noticed many people asking the same rhetorical question: “What is this, the 1960s?”

This is exactly the issue with our idea of human progress, King explained.

“It’s not about asking, ‘Who would I have been in the civil rights movement?’ but rather, ‘Who am I tonight?’” he said.

In line with the evening’s theme of social justice and activism, one audience member asked King his advice on how people can work to climb out of this “dip.”

“Ask yourself, ‘What bothers me the most in this world?’” King responded. “And decide to be the change for that issue.”

This challenge is not foreign to Holy Cross students.

“What Shaun said in his talk had Holy Cross and Jesuit education written all over it,” said Robert Jones, associate director of multicultural education. “It reminded me of our Mission Statement: ‘To participate in the life of Holy Cross is to accept an invitation to join in dialogue about basic human questions: What is the moral character of learning and teaching? How do we find meaning in life and history? What are our obligations to one another? What is our special responsibility to the world’s poor and powerless?’ Here at Holy Cross, we have to ask each other these questions and be engaged with one another. Like Shaun said, it’s about discovering your passion and then asking, ‘How can I really do something?’”

For Elena Ferguson ’17, King’s address offered practical suggestions on how to create change.

“In order to rise to that ‘peak’ of humanity or achieve any goal, one must employ time and effort, but most importantly strategy. These three elements are the type of organization necessary to make change happen,” she said. “I will carry with me post-graduation that no one can tell me to do this type of social justice, that I have to have the passion for it and that is what will sustain me.”

The talk was not only useful for students, but timely.

“After the recent election and the travel ban, the future of our country is uncertain and things are quickly changing,” Nicole Burshan ’17. “I feel like I need to make some sort of difference too, and I left Shaun King’s talk with a renewed sense of hope.”

Read the Telegram & Gazette coverage of the event on their website.

| More
Tags
Categories
In The News, News

Comments are closed.

11/17/17 Holy Cross Professor on the Rise and Rule of Robert Mugabe, ‘The Only Leader Zimbabwe Has Ever Had’
11/15/17 Holy Cross Graduate Named 2017 Latinos 30 Under 30 Recipient
11/11/17 Remembering Fallen Heroes on Veteran’s Day: ‘Holy Cross Grad, Chaplain Last US officer Killed in WWI’
11/10/17 How Do You Get Into Holy Cross? A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way, says Admissions Director
See All

COES HC Capital Club Meeting
11/20/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 216
HC Capital seeks to supplement the liberal arts by providing the technical skills...
See More >>


XChrom's Women in STEM Mixer
11/20/2017
Biology
Smith Laboratories 155
Undeclared? Come to XCHROM's Women in STEM at Holy Cross Panel. Meet female juniors...
See More >>


Tickets Sale: ACT Production of "Stop Kiss"
11/20/2017
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Buy tickets for “Stop Kiss,” the Alternate College...
See More >>


Tickets Sale: ACT Production of "Stop Kiss"
11/20/2017
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Buy tickets for “Stop Kiss,” the Alternate College...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
11/20/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


COES Finance Club Meetings
11/21/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 216
The Finance Club offers students the opportunity to gain a stronger understanding...
See More >>


Tickets for Alternate College Theatre Production of "Stop Kiss"
11/21/2017
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Buy tickets for “Stop Kiss,” the Alternate College...
See More >>


Tickets Sale: ACT Production of "Stop Kiss"
11/21/2017
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Buy tickets for “Stop Kiss,” the Alternate College...
See More >>


Tickets for Alternate College Theatre Production of "Stop Kiss"
11/21/2017
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Buy tickets for “Stop Kiss,” the Alternate College...
See More >>


Open Enrollment Assistance
11/21/2017
Human Resources
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 410 - Computer Lab
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Tickets Sale: ACT Production of "Stop Kiss"
11/21/2017
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Buy tickets for “Stop Kiss,” the Alternate College...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
11/21/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


CPR Training Session
11/21/2017
Public Safety
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


COES Sales Club Meetings
11/23/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 118C
Explore the sales and management industries of business and gain the tools to...
See More >>


COES HC Capital Club Meeting
11/27/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 216
HC Capital seeks to supplement the liberal arts by providing the technical skills...
See More >>


Sociology/Anthropology Honors Program Informational Session
11/27/2017
Sociology and Anthropology
Beaven Hall 125
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
11/27/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


COES Finance Club Meetings
11/28/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 216
The Finance Club offers students the opportunity to gain a stronger understanding...
See More >>


Study Smarter, Not Harder!
11/28/2017
Academic Services and Learning Resources
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 408(09)
Why is it so hard to remember what you just heard in lecture or...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
11/28/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Women in Finance Forum
11/29/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 215
Open to the Public
See More >>


COES HCEG Meeting
11/29/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 402(03)
HCEG (Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group) is the student chapter of...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
11/29/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


The Key Program Info Table
11/29/2017
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 2
Come by our info table in Hogan to learn more about The Key...
See More >>


Alternate College Theatre Production: "Stop Kiss"
11/30/2017
Theatre
ers growing up and leaving their twenties behind. Callie and Sara meet in New York City at the turn of the millennium. Sara wants to change the world; Callie simply wants to get by. They could be best of friends or even something more – if only they could make a decision. But making that decision isn’t easy and may even cause dangerous repercussions. An Alternate College Theatre production directed by Alexis Rappaport ’19. Tickets
ers growing up and leaving their twenties behind. Callie and Sara meet in New York City at the turn of...
See More >>


BSU Fashion Show Practice
11/30/2017
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Philosophy Club Meeting
11/30/2017
Philosophy
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall 426
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


COES Sales Club Meetings
11/30/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 118C
Explore the sales and management industries of business and gain the tools to...
See More >>


City Year Info Table (Event canceled)
11/30/2017
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 3
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
11/30/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Alternate College Theatre Production: "Stop Kiss"
12/1/2017
Theatre
ers growing up and leaving their twenties behind. Callie and Sara meet in New York City at the turn of the millennium. Sara wants to change the world; Callie simply wants to get by. They could be best of friends or even something more – if only they could make a decision. But making that decision isn’t easy and may even cause dangerous repercussions. An Alternate College Theatre production directed by Alexis Rappaport ’19. Tickets
ers growing up and leaving their twenties behind. Callie and Sara meet in New York City at the turn of...
See More >>


Lecture: Quayshawn Spencer on a Radical Solution to the Race Problem
12/1/2017
Philosophy
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Quayshawn Spencer, assistant professor of philosophy at the University...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/1/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Alternate College Theatre Production: "Stop Kiss"
12/2/2017
Theatre
ers growing up and leaving their twenties behind. Callie and Sara meet in New York City at the turn of the millennium. Sara wants to change the world; Callie simply wants to get by. They could be best of friends or even something more – if only they could make a decision. But making that decision isn’t easy and may even cause dangerous repercussions. An Alternate College Theatre production directed by Alexis Rappaport ’19. Tickets
ers growing up and leaving their twenties behind. Callie and Sara meet in New York City at the turn of...
See More >>


Alternate College Theatre Production: "Stop Kiss"
12/2/2017
Theatre
Fenwick Theatre
“Stop Kiss,” an Alternate College Theatre production, is being staged on...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/2/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery Open to the Public
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Alternate College Theatre Production: "Stop Kiss"
12/3/2017
Theatre
Fenwick Theatre
“Stop Kiss,” an Alternate College Theatre production, is being staged on...
See More >>


COES HC Capital Club Meeting
12/4/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 216
HC Capital seeks to supplement the liberal arts by providing the technical skills...
See More >>


Deloitte Holiday Cards
12/4/2017
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Stop by the Deloitte Holiday Card table! We will be working...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/4/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


COES Finance Club Meetings
12/5/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 216
The Finance Club offers students the opportunity to gain a stronger understanding...
See More >>


Crusader Internship Fund Orientation Information Session
12/5/2017
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406
Come to the Crusader Internship Fund Orientation to learn all the details...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/5/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Women in Finance Forum
12/6/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 215
Open to the Public
See More >>


Prof. Sheehy - Virology Poster Presentations
12/6/2017
Biochemistry
Smith Laboratories SPILLANE
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


COES HCEG Meeting
12/6/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 304(05)
HCEG (Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group) is the student chapter of...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/6/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


BSU Fashion Show Practice
12/7/2017
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 408(09)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


COES Sales Club Meetings
12/7/2017
COES Professional Program & Prebusiness Program
Edith Stein Hall 118C
Explore the sales and management industries of business and gain the tools to...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/7/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/8/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/9/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery Open to the Public
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/11/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/12/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/13/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/14/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Rethinking the Afropolitan: Photographs by Héctor Mediavilla and Christopher López
12/15/2017
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
“Making Visual the Music of Ismael Rivera” | Photographs...
See More >>


Sam's Club Information
1/10/2018
Human Resources
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Non-Profit Careers Conference
1/16/2018
Community Based Learning
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
The annual Non-Profit Careers Conference is held in January for...
See More >>


Non-Profit Careers Conference
1/17/2018
Community Based Learning
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
The annual Non-Profit Careers Conference is held in January for...
See More >>


Crusader Internship Fund Orientation Information Session
1/25/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406
Come to the Crusader Internship Fund Orientation to learn all the details...
See More >>


Male Involvement Coalition (MIC)
1/29/2018
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Crusader Internship Fund Orientation Information Session
1/29/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 409
Come to the Crusader Internship Fund Orientation to learn all the details...
See More >>


Let's Talk Medical School with Dr. Michael Hallisey '82 (Event canceled)
1/30/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Dr. Hallisey '82 returns to campus to share his journey from Holy Cross...
See More >>


MLK Book Read: Session 2
1/30/2018
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


MLK Book Read: Session 3
1/31/2018
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Northeastern University Graduate Programs Info Table
1/31/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 4
Stop by the Northeastern University Graduate Programs Info...
See More >>


Let's Talk Medical School with Dr. Michael Hallisey '82
2/5/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 304(05)
Dr. Hallisey '82 returns to campus to share his journey from Holy...
See More >>


MLK Book Read: Session 4
2/5/2018
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


BSU Gathering
2/6/2018
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


CCD - Real Estate Panel Discussion & Networking Event
2/6/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Come to our annual Real Estate Panel Discussion and Networking...
See More >>


PepsiCo Recruiting Dinner
2/7/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 304
By invitation only to students interviewing with PepsiCo. Selected...
See More >>


Crusader Internship Fund Orientation Information Session
2/7/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 409
Come to the Crusader Internship Fund Orientation to learn all the details...
See More >>


Sam's Club Information
2/8/2018
Human Resources
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Tricia Bushnell Lecture
2/12/2018
McFarland Center for Religion
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Open to the Public
See More >>


The Vagina Monologues
2/15/2018
Gender
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Ballroom & 328
The Vagina Monologues is an acclaimed play written by...
See More >>


BSU Fashion Show Party
2/23/2018
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Ballroom & Dunn Rcpt
Open to the Public
See More >>


National Eating Disorder Awareness Screening Day
2/27/2018
Counseling Center
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 4
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


National Eating Disorder Awareness Screening Day
2/27/2018
Counseling Center
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 5
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


National Eating Disorder Awareness Screening Day
2/27/2018
Counseling Center
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 3
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


National Eating Disorder Awareness Screening Day
2/27/2018
Counseling Center
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 2
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Sustaining Ourselves: Courageous Self-Care
2/28/2018
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Dinand Library Levis Browsing Room
Social justice activists often experience burn out. This interactive...
See More >>


Northeastern University Graduate Programs Info Table
2/28/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Stop by the Northeastern University Graduate Programs Info...
See More >>


BSU Gathering
3/13/2018
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Employee Information Meeting
3/15/2018
College Marketing and Communications
Kimball Hall Seelos Theater
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>

See All