The University of Nevada, Reno’s Department of Diversity and Inclusion, in collaboration with the Associated Students at the University of Nevada, invited members of the community to join them for an hour to honor and pay tribute to all victims of racism, violence and hate in the community on Tuesday, May 11. The event comes 21 days after the final verdict of George Floyd’s murder.
The event, “Hope as a verb, as much as a virtue”, began with speakers such as Haley Brown, the director for the Department of Diversity and Inclusion, who recounted her experience growing up and seeing intentional hateful acts against Black and Asian communities, and ASUN President Austin Brown.
Participants were asked to take a moment of reflection to acknowledge the past and instill hope in the community for a better future. The university passed around colored flags for individuals to record the names of those whose lives have been lost in remembrance, and place them in the grass in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union.
The flags also represent the university’s commitment, as an institution, to continue combatting the injustices faced by marginalized communities and work towards a better future where violence is less prevalent in everyday society, according to Brown.
“We wanted to pause to mark the day of the verdict in the George Floyd murder case and take a moment of calm reflection to recognize the reality of racism, hate and violence that we as a community have to deal with,” said Eloisa Gordon-Mora, the university’s diversity and inclusion officer. “Anyone can grab a flag and write a name of a victim of racism, xenophobia or any other form of hate as a personal testimony to them.”
Daniel Scruggs, a second year master’s student at the university and outreach coordinator for the Department of Diversity and Inclusion, was among those who placed a flag during the event.
“I am placing a flag today for Breonna Taylor,” said Scruggs, “Along with being a part of putting this event together, I think it’s really important to stand in unity for the black community and the API [Asian Pacific Islander] community. I like to be proactive versus reactive and even though the George Floyd trial verdict was one that everyone wanted, there are still far more trials to be had. We are not standing around and saying ‘oh this one person is guilty, time to move on.’”
Another participant in honoring victims of racism and hate was Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator, Donnie Otto. He placed his flag in honor of “all black lives, especially young black women and members of the LGBTQ community, and other victims.”
The display will be removed on Friday, May 14, and the flags will be available at the front desk of the Joe Crowley Student Union until then for any students, faculty or community members who wish to join in and remember those who have been lost.
Sydney Peerman can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @sydneypeerman.