Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Paying it forward: one state at a time

Civil rights activist and organizer, Tamika Mallory, addressed the harrowing issues of racial discrimination that have continued to exist in society on Wednesday.

What started as a protest against discrimination quickly turned into a large scale movement with millions of participants. Rather than focus a protest on the outcome of 2016’s presidential election, Mallory’s main goal is to pay it forward.

“We will never get five million people again to do anything within the Women’s March at one time,” said Mallory. “It’s never going to happen because historic moments like that come once in a lifetime, if at all. That’s just the truth of how things work.”

Having originated last year in Washington D.C. the organizers of The March are embarking on what they call the Power to the Polls tour which will hit ten states starting in Las Vegas, Nev. by the midterm elections.

Power to the Polls is a project centered on voter registration and education for members of marginalized communities.

Contributions to the growth and prosperity of future generations are an honor paid to those who came before who fought against past injustices, according to Mallory.

“We commit to a struggle without truly knowing for sure whether we will ever be able to experience the fruit of our labor,” said Mallory during her speech. “That is really the most important part of paying it forward, not knowing how you will ever benefit from it, but understanding that you are leaving a legacy for your children and your children’s children’s children.”

Mallory recounted a conversation when the group of women organized Tthe Mmarch; they spoke of how the 53 percent of white women that voted in the election, voted for Trump. The majority of the white women said it was uncomfortable to discuss politics with their families.

Mallory recounted her daily routine with her son. She told him to withdraw discrimination against him based on his skin. She told him to do as he’s told if there’s a chance his life depends on it. He has been told he must make it home safe, that they will fight his battles together. This is not a daily conversation that only her and her son have had. Many parents have had these conversations with their children of color, regardless of what neighborhood they lived in.

Mallory also spoke about the significance of the date in which she spoke at Suffolk. This day would have been Sandra Bland’s 31st birthday. Bland, who was arrested in 2015 for a routine traffic stop, was found dead in her cell days later; ruled a suicide, details surrounding her death were called into question by some who claimed she was killed by police while in custody.

“We could be her next, today, [or] tomorrow. Any day we could actually be walking in the shoes or driving in the car that looked like Sandra Bland’s car,” said Mallory. “So, we continue to be brutally beaten and murdered by the law enforcement. And again people say maybe she did commit suicide. [The] point is she had no business being in jail in the first place.”

The event was hosted by the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. BSU wanted to spread awareness to those in the community and assert the significance that Mallory be recognized for her work in the Women’s March, according to Vice President of the BSU Jakira Rogers.

Mallory also spoke of how Suffolk is a current example of paying it forward by explaining the impact that Suffolk’s founder has had.

Gleason Archer Sr., founder of Suffolk Law School, had started from humble beginnings and worked towards building a law school where students can expand their knowledge and advance their careers.

“I think this group is already sitting at the table of revolution, whether or not you understand that and have owned it, just by nature of being here in a place where someone took nothing and made something,” said Mallory.

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About the Contributors
Nathan Espinal
Nathan Espinal, Senior Staff Writer
Student pursuing a double major degree who's also writing articles for a paper with integrity. Usually stress eating in the library.
Katherine Yearwood
Katherine Yearwood, Staff Writer
As a senior at Suffolk University, I major in Communications with a concentration in print journalism and a minor in sociology. I have worked with The Suffolk Journal since 2015. The stories that have been the most electrifying to write are the ones where I am working with people who inspire me or the ones that allow me to call attention to social justice issues on or off of Suffolk's campus.

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Paying it forward: one state at a time