As a facilitator in Making Herstory – a created safe space to discuss and learn about feminism, ethnic studies & personal narratives as a form of empowerment – I am constantly brainstorming/researching ways to introduce new topics to my group of committed students. After the beating of Pearl Pearson and death of Luis Rodriguez in Moore, Oklahoma, I had to tread with caution: what impact would a lesson on police brutality, in our community, have over high school students? Is it my place to introduce my students to topics that can dramatically & emotionally impact their lives?
In those times of self-doubt, I remind myself the truth can create a culture of liberation and needed dialogue for marginalized, oppressed, and silenced communities. My students deserve to have a space to dialogue over these issues -> coming to their own conclusion through critical thinking, dialogue, and debates.
After creating a lesson over police brutality, I had my students ask me: “What can we do to help our community? How can we help Pearl Pearson and Luis Rodriguez? How can we help others learn about police brutality?” Because of their sheer dedication to the cause, we were able to raise $250 for the Luis Rodriguez family through a bubble tea fundraiser at The Hubbly Bubbly.
With the date of what would-be Luis’ birthday on Saturday, April 12th, 2014, Making Herstory brainstormed potentially having a protest, rally, etc. But we asked: what is the most accessible way, at this moment in time, to create dialogue around police brutality in our community? My high school students decided to launch a social media campaign around police brutality.
How does this work?
1) On Saturday, April 12th, we ask that you upload a picture of yourself on facebook with a posterboard/paper exactly like the one below:
“Today Luis Rodriguez would have celebrated his birthday. . . #endpolicebrutality”
2) Use the hashtag #endpolicebrutality on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and tell us your thoughts on police brutality! Let’s get it trending!
3) Refer people to the Making Herstory facebook page so people know what this campaign is about.
4) SPREAD THE WORD! We want this social media campaign to spread through Oklahoma City. Students in Making Herstory are already organizing in our community. Can you share this with others and bring police brutality awareness?
Why? In a statement crafted by Making Herstory students: “This social media campaign is a way for us to begin dialogue around police brutality in our community, and create awareness around this issue in south OKC/Moore.”
When? Saturday, April 12th, 2014
Where? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog posts, etc
The death of Luis Rodriguez and unjust beating of Pearl Pearson served as the catalyst for Making Herstory to begin organizing around police brutality. This social media campaign serves as a way to begin dialogue around the issue of police brutality, and to put pressure on those in power to begin critically analyzing the way institutions can unjustly hurt our community.
Continue checking our blog/Facebook page – every day leading up to Saturday, April 12th, we will have a blog post from a community member in support of the Making Herstory police brutality campaign!
Please join us in Making Herstory!