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LVC Community Holds Vigil Against Violence

Charles Hopta '23

Vigil Against Violence, Part Two

LVC community comes together to stand against violence, racism, and injustice.

 

The LVC community gathered on the College’s Academic Quad for a Vigil Against Violence Sept. 8. Organized by the College’s Professional Staff: Communities in Color group and co-sponsored by the Black Student Union, LatinX, and Student Government, the vigil was part of an ongoing discussion about violence, racism, and injustice, including acknowledgment of the more than 1,000 Brown and Black people who have been killed by police in recent years.

Speakers, including Dr. Renata Williams, assistant dean of engagement and inclusion and director of intercultural affairs & inclusive programming, and Dr. James MacLaren, LVC president, urged the attendees to help make Lebanon Valley College more inclusive and welcoming.

“The flags represent all lives lost in fatal police shootings in 2019,” said Dr. Williams. “However, Brown and Black people are disproportionately impacted by fatal police shootings. Specifically, Black people make up roughly 13% of the U.S. population, but are killed at more than twice the rate of White Americans.”

“We will strive to be an anti-racist institution and our faculty made this the focus of the start of their summer retreat,” said Dr. MacLaren. “Our learning community is built on inclusion and fairness, on the assurance that every person will be treated with dignity, recognized for their abilities, supported in their efforts, and acknowledged for their accomplishments... We need to strive for equality and social justice.” Visit here for Dr. MacLaren’s full remarks.

Khalil Brim ’21, one of the speakers at July’s Town Hall: Listening to Black Voices at LVC, reiterated the call for change. Other presenters represented alumni, Rachel R. Hadrick, Esq., ’06; students, Brim and Jamar Gordon ’23, Student Government equity representative; faculty, Dr. Jonathan Walker-Vankuren, artistic teacher of studio voice & musical theater, Dr. Jenna Marx, assistant professor of psychology; intercultural affairs, Tyler Cox, associate director of intercultural affairs and inclusive programming; and, athletics, Jonas Fester, head baseball coach.

The vigil closed with a ceremonial raising of the Black Lives Matter flag on the special-interest flagpole on the College’s Social Quad. Visit the LVC Facebook page to view the Vigil in its entirety. Visit #LVC4Change to learn more about LVC’s work toward inclusion and social justice, including resources to become more active and informed.