By Sophia Lowe
Speakers at a City Hall rally Monday urged students from three historically black colleges and universities to become leaders in the protest movement emerging from recent unrest in Baltimore.
State Sen. Catherine Pugh told students and staff from Morgan, Bowie and Coppin State universities that HBCUs have always been important. Several student government representatives from the three schools talked about the importance of HBCU students stepping up and becoming leaders.
Pugh proposed an idea to keep college graduates of Baltimore colleges in Baltimore. She suggested that abandoned houses in Baltimore be sold to college graduates for a dollar and that they be charged reduced mortgages, about $2,000 a year, while renovating the homes. She also said the businesses of Baltimore City should get together to help provide jobs for college graduates.
Bowie State University’s newly elected SGA President Richard Lucas said they had come to spread hope.
“The message today is that when something happens in a community it effects everybody, your youth, your adults and your history,” said Bowie SGA President Milan Mobley. “It’s not just a Baltimore thing, this is an everybody thing,” added Mobley.
Just about everyone agreed that it is the community’s responsibility to help each other and to become leaders for their community.
“This is about building each other up and building our community up,” said Esther Aribilola, Morgan State’s incoming SGA president.
“Its change it’s being activists and not those thugs that they try to portray us to be,” said Rodrick Johnson, a Coppin student. Johnson said young adults and youth need to become the leaders that they want to see, a statement that a lot of students and adults supported.
The three colleges said they are planning other events. “We want to have different days where we can go out to schools and have workshops to build the youth,” said Mobley. “At the end of the day they are our future leaders.”
Video Credit: Tramon Lucas