Students Support Black Lives Matter Movement


Photo by Kayla Alexandre

Adrian Beaupierre, a Sanford raised child, holds a sign supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. This movement impacts people of all ages, genders, and races in the fight for systematic equality.


  Ever since the video of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police officers went public on social media, the Black Lives Matter movement has continuously gained more support and momentum. Some students at Trinity have contributed to the movement to raise recognition and demand equality for Black people and other minority groups.

  “Black Lives Matter has defined that Black people are important and have made important contributions to society, and should be celebrated,” social science teacher Tatiana McKinney-Stokes said. “It doesn’t mean that other people are not important, it just means that Black lives at this moment are not being looked at as [important].”

  Senior Ellie Watson is one of several students who have gotten involved in efforts to bring about change alongside the organization. In May and early June, she marched in several protests.

  “It was powerful to see everyone there for one reason,” Watson said. “It was overwhelming for sure, but then after the fact, I was like, ‘It’s a lot for me to say it’s overwhelming when this is what Black people have to deal with every day of their life.’”

  At one of the marches she attended, everyone stood for a moment of silence for Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police while unarmed in her home. At another, Watson said they went from City Hall through Parramore and the police department, singing and marching in solidarity.

  “It was very imposing, but powerful, and especially in Orlando where this isn’t the first time that a community has banded together for something like this,” Watson said.

  After hearing about the death of George Floyd, Watson said she informed herself about the movement and started donating to the BLM organization. She not only donated to the official organization, but also to funds related to supporting Black artists and Black communities in Chicago, where her brother lives.

  Black Lives Matter was created in 2013 after the trial of Trayvon Martin gained national attention. Martin was a Florida teenager in Sanford walking home when he was seen and followed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. Martin was found dead by gunfire, and after Zimmerman was found not guilty for Martin’s death, protests and movements erupted across the country. Since then, BLM has been working to combat violence and racial inequality.

  Junior Taylor Brown suggests that a way to educate others about BLM is through social media. She encounters many people online who try to refute the movement’s ideas, but she is always prepared to educate others on the topic with factual evidence.

  “Bring up the numbers, compare the statistics … instead of just saying blanket statements that really can mean anything if you replace one word,” Brown said.

  English teacher Jay Jay Stroup said she supports the movement by raising up other people’s voices to bring attention to the important topics addressed by it.

  “My job is to listen and to pass along that message or to have smaller conversations with people that I encounter in my daily life,” Stroup said.

  Junior Keyaira Goff first got involved when she heard about BLM during the 2016 presidential election.

  “I was just 12 years old, so I didn’t really do much, but it is now that I’m growing up and having my own money, I just start donating and…doing what I can to help,” Goff said.

She says that some of the best ways to create change is by voting on laws that support your ideas. She recommends voting or at least registering to vote as soon as you can to start being an active citizen. She also says that signing online petitions and donating is a great way to get involved in the organization.

“It’s just donating to the right areas and making sure that I provide links and information to people about Black-owned businesses and other ways that they can help people who are struggling with racial injustice,” Goff said.

The types of events that founded and recently brought more attention to Black Lives Matter still continue to happen. The movement is an ongoing effort, and all of these students are finding ways to share their knowledge with others to raise awareness and support it.

“I feel like equality is something that we all need to achieve,” Goff said. “It’s been long enough, and we need to bring the important matters to everybody and be inclusive.”