Howard Students March with Occupy Protesters PDF Print E-mail
By Saraya Wintersmith -- Black College Wire   

Members of the Howard community marched in solidarity with the Occupy DC Movement. However after proceeding through most of the route, the protesters realized that not many Howard students were in the march.

The Howard University March for Jobs and Justice involved almost no Howard University students.

Howard alumnus Talib Karim, who helped to coordinate the march, was surprised with the low student turnout. He described the demonstration as an "impromptu organized effort" that would add a new voice to the Occupy movement by drawing attention to the urgent concerns of blacks in the United States.

The Hilltop
Howard students march to Occupy protest site.

According to a recent release from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, blacks in the U.S. were unemployed at a rate of 16 percent in September 2011. This rate does not account for underemployed persons – those who work part-time, but want and are available for full-time jobs.

"As an institution that's producing the next generation of African-American professionals, Howard absolutely has to be on the cutting edge of pointing out these issues and offering solutions for them," Karim said.

Karim believes the goals and principles of the HU Jobs and Justice March are a subset of the Occupy movement's efforts. He solicited his alma mater and expected to find the kind of acute political awareness and proclivity for action that was common among Howard University students of past decades.

Howard University Student Association President, Brandon Harris, said HUSA was contacted about the march but decided not to officially endorse it.

"It's not that we don't support the cause," Harris said. "We really had to focus our attention on something else at the time."

Harris said in the days leading up to the march, HUSA was dealing with some internal concerns -- meetings with administrators, advocating academic renewal recommendations and helping students solve their registration problems.

Harris said the student government always has to prioritize the issues it will address according to urgency.

Saraya Wintersmith writes for the Hilltop, the Howard University student newspaper, which originally published this article.

Posted Nov. 08, 2011
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