B-CU Students Protest Shooting in Ferguson, Mo.
Approximately 300 Bethune-Cookman University students held their hands up to protest the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The students had gathered for an information session on Greek life at B-CU. The protest was organized by senior Reuben Rifin, of Naples, Fla.
“The shooting of Michael Brown is tragic because it’s not the first time this has happened,” Rifin said from the stage of the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center. Rifin went on to list numerous shootings and physical assaults against unarmed African Americans across the country.
The shooting of an unarmed Brown, who witnesses said raised his arms in surrender before being shot multiple times by a white police officer, touches everyone, Rifin said. “We are people of color and we want to spread awareness,” he said. “I should be comfortable driving and not in fear for my life if I am pulled over just because of the color of my skin.”
The idea for the protest came from a photo taken at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where students held their hands up in surrender. The photo has gone viral on social media.
“Howard’s photo shows how you can say volumes without opening your mouth,” Rifin said. “B-CU supports all people of color. You don’t have to be in Missouri or New York to show that support.”
Bethune-Cookman University was founded in 1904 and serves the community via three campuses in Daytona Beach, Deltona and Hastings. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.
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About Bethune-Cookman University
Founded in 1904 by Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers baccalaureate degrees in 37 majors through six academic schools – Arts & Humanities; Business; Education; Nursing; Science, Engineering and Mathematics; and Social Sciences – and maintains intercollegiate athletic programs and instrumental and choral groups that have achieved national recognition. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of more than 3,400.