Black Lives Matter Demonstration at Scholars' Academy

Black Lives Matter Demonstration at Scholars’ Academy

Queens, New York— On Friday, March 10, 2017, students participated in a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration at Scholars’ Academy in Queens, NY. Students came to school dressed in t-shirts emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter” to bring awareness to their school community about the hardships facing black and brown people in America. The demonstration is a result of the current national and local political landscape in addition to how some Scholars’ Academy students were treated during Black History Month.

The Scholars’ Academy students worked diligently to plan a demonstration that would bring about the changes they wanted to see in their school community. The students prepared meticulously and had a large turnout at each of their planning meetings in the week leading up to the demonstration. During their latest meeting, one student remarked, “We have amazing staff at Scholars’ who are willing to help us, but we want to make sure that everyone at Scholars supports future students of color”.

The student leaders ultimately want their school’s administration and peers to have a full understanding of the hardships faced by black and brown youth in this country and to equip them with actionable steps to ensure that Scholars’ Academy remains a safe learning space for all students. To do so, they are asking for a meeting with Scholars’ Academy Principal, Brian O’Connell, and an outside mediator to discuss their concerns without fear of retaliation from the administration. They feel that having a peaceful and actionable dialogue will work to maintain and promote a safe and respectful school community for all students and staff.

The Rockaway Youth Task Force is a proud supporter of the demonstration and many of the student demonstrators are organizers in RYTF. Executive Director and Founder, Milan Taylor, said, “RYTF is very fortunate to be able to provide resources and guidance to this group of talented student leaders. Our mission is to empower youth to change the discourse in their communities and we feel this group is tackling a huge issue in the right way. We are proud to stand behind them and support them”.

***Due to fear of retribution, we respectfully ask that any media outlet intending to cover this direct action go through Rockaway Youth Task Force staff as a first point of contact.***