Students fight for racial justice

In the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, people all across the country have been speaking out about police brutality and the deep-rooted racism plaguing America. Many Shorewood students have joined in on the conversation and are taking action in a myriad of ways.

Zeze Eiland, senior, has been participating in many of the protests being held in Milwaukee. Her experiences at these protests so far have been positive.

“When you actually get out there and you’re amongst your community and you’re amongst the people who truly are wanting change, who truly are tired of constantly going back and forth and being in the same position … when you’re truly around those people who are begging and pleading for something in our justice system to change, it’s something totally different,” Eiland said. “It’s somewhat overwhelming because you’re amongst all these people who are just as passionate as you about what’s going on, it’s a humbling experience.”

Eiland, along with Trinity Higgins, senior, is hoping to arrange a singing performance at one of the protests. Both Eiland and Higgins are active members in the drama department, and want to involve many of the other members.

“We’ve [contacted] students who are in drama to see if they would like to be a part of a small singing group to recreate the ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ song that was sung in Hairspray that we did two years ago” Eiland said. “It’s very relevant to the situation our country’s going through right now.”

Senna Carrera, senior, has been providing food and water for protestors. Carrera started a GoFundMe with a couple of her friends to raise money for supplies, which she promoted on social media. 

“This is sort of putting immediate relief to protestors right now, and then as we’re going to donate the rest of the money to the Freedom Fund, it will also help them in the long run too,” Carrera said.

Carrera and her friends had an initial goal of 200 dollars, and so they were pleasantly surprised when they ended up raising a little under $650. According to Carrera, most of the donations came from other people in Shorewood.

“I think knowing that it was a Shorewood person probably made them want to donate more,” Carrera. “I also pushed a lot of people to donate, like I sent the links personally to a lot of people as well … a lot of my family and friends and their parents.”

Eric Lucas III, junior, spoke at a press conference last Sunday, June 7 in front of the Milwaukee Police Department District 7.

The press conference was organized by youth, with help from Urban Underground. Multiple people spoke at the press conference, each about a different topic pertaining to injustice. At the time of the interview, Lucas planned on speaking about police brutality.

“The protest is supposed to show unity amongst black youth, brown youth, white youth, and show that we can all come together and show that black youth’s skin is not a weapon,” Lucas said.

Lucas has also participated in protests around the City of Milwaukee. He’s found the protests to be empowering in many ways.

“It feels good to know that somebody else is fighting with me … we are still fighting for our life even if that means the end of us, so that somebody else that comes after us can live better than we are living now,” Lucas said.

For Alicia Obiakor, junior, physically protesting isn’t an option at the moment. She is one of the many people taking action from home due to health concerns. Obiakor has been active on social media, expressing her thoughts on certain topics and speaking about her experiences as a black woman.

“I feel like speaking my truth and really voicing my opinions on issues, and other black people [are] doing that as well, and us just being so confident in our stories and in our beliefs – I feel like that in and of itself is a protest,” Obiakor said. “Because you’re really standing firm with who you are as an individual and that is what protesting can be.”