The student-led protests at the University of Missouri campus this week have thrust the college experiences of Black students in the headlines and into the consciousness of many, including celebs like Gabrielle Union.

On Twitter, #BlackOnCampus is trending as students at predominantly White institutions (PWIs) share their experiences with on-campus discrimination. The hashtag provides a rare window into their experiences with overt racism, discriminating professors, shallow promises of diversity, White privilege and varied accounts of blantant cultural appropriation.

“I think that it shows (a) the power of activism and (b) the power of our voices,” Union told ESSENCE.

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The Omaha, Nebraska native thinks that the pressure people are placing on college administrators, specifically former Mizzou President Tim Wolfe, does foster action, yet it shouldn’t take the threat of losing money to get there.

“The reality is we will not be put on the back burner as these issues arise,” Union added. “They need be dealt with in a timely manner and effectively.”

Union urges those who are active in voicing their disdain to valiantly continue their efforts. 

“You can take a stand and not lose everything,” she says. “[But] you can actually gain your humanity, dignity back by using your voice.”


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