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The University of Missouri’s president, Tim Wolfe, resigned Monday morning in the face of a walkout by faculty and a strike by football players that was started by black students at the school who had argued that he had not done enough to combat racism on campus.

But did you know that one of the protests key leaders, the grad student who brought initial national attention to the protest by going on a week long hunger strike is a member of Phi Beta Sigma?

It is true, it turns out that the Jonathan Butler is a member of the black fraternity Phi Beta Sigma.

As of 9 a.m. Monday morning, it had been a week since the 25-year-old University of Missouri graduate student had eaten because of a hunger strike he began in an effort force the university president Tim Wolfe to resign and get the school’s administration to make changes because he and other university activist thought they had been unresponsive to a series of racist incidents on campus. (The school’s student newspaper made this timeline of the incidents)

Butler vowed that he would not eat until Wolfe was removed from office.

“I will not consume any food or nutritional sustenance at the expense of my health until either Tim Wolfe is removed from office or my internal organs fail and my life is lost,” Butler wrote in a letter to the UM System Board of Curators.

“Butler’s act of protest, in concert with other activism coordinated by a group of students who called themselves Concerned Student 1950 — a nod to the year that black students were first admitted to the university — has seized the nation’s attention. And, on Saturday night, members of Missouri’s football team announced that they would join the protest, and would not practice or play until Butler’s demands were met.” The Washington Post stated yesterday.

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When asked about the state of his health after not eating for almost a week this is what Butler told the Washington Post:

“No one really understands what my body is going through. My body is literally shutting down. I definitely have pain all over, shortness of breath. I’m overheated one minute and then I’m shivering the next, so there is just a lot that my body is going through right now. But I don’t really try to focus on that, I’m trying to focus on the fact that I really am encouraged by the activism that’s going on. There are a lot of white allies that are coming on board, there is a lot of education, people are talking about this in classrooms.”

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He also stated this:

“The campus climate here at the University of Missouri is an ugly one, it’s one that often we don’t talk about and it’s one that, when issues come up, whether it’s sexual assault, whether it’s Planned Parenthood, whether it’s racism, it gets swept under the rug because we want to rest on our traditions and rest on all these values that we hold in high esteem. And I think the message is that underneath all of that there is a lot of dirt and there’s a lot of pain and there’s a lot of hurt. There’s things that need to be changed. And at the end of it all, even if you don’t really understand what I’m saying, even if you can’t really understand systemic oppression and systemic racism, is the fact we can’t be at a university where we have values like “Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence” and we don’t have any of those things being enacted on campus, especially in terms of respect. I’m on a campus where people feel free to call people the n-word, where people feel free as recently as last week, to used [their] own feces to smear a swastika in a residential hall. Everything that glitters is not gold. We really need to dig deep and be real with ourselves about the world we live in and understand that we’re not perfect but understand that just because we’re not perfect doesn’t mean we don’t start to understand and address the issues around us.”

The Board of Curators called an emergency meeting for Monday morning to discuss the unrest but before that happened Tim Wolfe, the school’s president stepped down.

Jonathan quickly took to twitter to share his happiness.Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 12.12.23 PM

Congratulations to Jonathan Butler! His hard work and sacrifice paid off and created positive change. We at WatchTheYard.com would like to show respect to all of the students involved and because we focus mainly on Black fraternities and sororities we wanted to highlight this brother on his activism for the wider greek community to see.

Share this post if you believe that Jonathan Butler exemplifies Phi Beta Sigma!

Show him some love in the comment section below!

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Activism

The Davidson College Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Just Released This Video About Trump’s DACA Repeal

The brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha at Davidson College are speaking out against President Donald Trump’s DACA repeal.

The brothers of the Tau Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. recently released a video publicly standing against the actions to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – which provides a level of amnesty to certain undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children – with a six-month delay for current recipients.

On Tuesday, President Trump urged lawmakers to “do your job” with DACA.

In the statement that the chapter released, they stated that their chapter, “stands with the Dreamers and against the proposed DACA repeal.
This is about more than statistics or policy decisions. About 800,000 human beings currently hold DACA status in the U.S. These are our friends, our peers, our neighbors, our family and we have to stand against bigotry & xenophobia and fight with them now.”

Watch their full statement below.

Today, we want to make a public statement. The Tau Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. stands with the Dreamers and against the proposed DACA repeal. This is about more than statistics or policy decisions. About 800,000 human beings currently hold DACA status in the U.S. These are our friends, our peers, our neighbors, our family and we have to stand against bigotry & xenophobia and fight with them now. We ask that you fight with us in our aim to #DefendDACA by donating to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), United We Dream, The Immigrant Defence Project, etc., attending a protest, using social media as a platform to spread awareness regarding this human rights issue, working with the campus community and administration at your institutions to protect your peers, and calling your Congressional representatives. The numbers for the NC Senators and websites for donations are listed below. Sen. Tom Thillis: (919) 856-4630 Sen. Richard Burr: (800) 685-8916 https://action.aclu.org/donate-aclu?ms=web_horiz_nav_hp https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/unitedwedreamaction?refcode=homepagebutton https://www.immigrantdefenseproject.org/donate/ #AΦΑ #ΤΟ #DefendDACA

A post shared by Tau Omicron Take Over (@tauomicron1906) on

The brothers urged the people watching to defend DACA and pointed them in the direction of organizations that are fighting for the rights of immigrants in the United States.

“We ask that you fight with us in our aim to #DefendDACA by donating to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), United We Dream, The Immigrant Defence Project, etc., attending a protest, using social media as a platform to spread awareness regarding this human rights issue, working with the campus community and administration at your institutions to protect your peers, and calling your Congressional representatives.

The numbers for the NC Senators and websites for donations are listed below.

Sen. Tom Thillis: (919) 856-4630
Sen. Richard Burr: (800) 685-8916″

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend these young brothers for speaking out and using their platform to help others. This is what it is all about.

Share if you think these young Alphas deserve to go VIRAL.

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Activism

Kaepernick Just Donated $25,000 to Help Immigrant Youth Affected By Trump’s Repeal of DACA

San Fransisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick has decided to use his own money and the money he has made from his jersey sales to help the people of the Chicago area by supportingthe largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation to deal with Trump’s removal of DACA.

The 28-year -old member of Kappa Alpha Psi, who refused to stand during the national anthem during NFL games last year said he would donate the first $1 million he made from last season to organizations assisting communities affected by racial injustice and police brutality.

“I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and be able to make the kind of money I do,” Kaepernick said. “I have to help these communities. It’s not right that they’re not put in the position to succeed or given those opportunities to succeed,” he said last year.

“I will donate one million dollars plus all the proceeds of my jersey sales from the 2016 season to organizations working in oppressed communities, 100k a month for 10 months,” he said on his website.

One of these communities just so happens to be immigrant children who are currently being threatened by the repeal of DACA.

For his recent pledge, which was announced yesterday,  Colin donated $25,000 to United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation.

“We organize and advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status,” the about section on United We Dream‘s website states.

According to Kaepernick’s website, the $25,000 will go toward the following:

  • Addressing the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth. Over 100,000  members. Current focus: Organize and work for immigrant children to keep DACA in force.
  • 10k for upcoming travel. Air, hotel, lodging, and ground transportation.  United We Dream recently held event in Washington DC and sent 300 dreamers to lobby to keep DACA. This budget will pay for 75-100 attendees for a similar rally upcoming.
  • 10k for series of upcoming local gatherings in NY, CT, TX, FL, NM. Facilities rent and security, transportation, food, technology
  • 5k for text service for the network of over 100,000 members.

Along with this $25,000 donation, Kaepernick has donated to DREAM (Formerly RBI Harlem) a baseball program in Harlem, Coalition For The Homeless, and War on Children.

 

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Activism

These Young Afro Latinas Reciting Victoria Santa Cruz’s “Me Gritaron Negra” Will Give You LIFE!

Me Gritaron NEGRA

Victoria Eugenia Santa Cruz Gamarra was an Afro-Peruvian choreographer, composer, and activist who is widely regarded as “the mother of Afro Peruvian dance and theatre.”

She lived from 1922 to 2004 and was one of the major players in the revival of Afro-Peruvian culture and Afrocentrism in Peru that took place during the 1960s and 1970s. In tribute of her impactful work, her poems, specifically “Me Gritaron NEGRA” (They Called Me Black) recited by young Afro-Peruvian and Afro-Ecuadorian girls have started to spread across the internet.

“Me Gritaron NEGRA” is a poem which follows Santa Cruz’s journey to accept and embrace her blackness, starts out with her telling the story of how at the a very young age started to shout “Negra” (the spanish word for Black) at her on the street everywhere she went. This shamed her into straightening her hair and wanting to lighten her skin but eventually she realized the beauty of her blackness and that the truth of this beauty was being hidden from her.

The original version of the poem recited by Santa Cruz is EXTREMELY powerful and might even give you chills.

What is even more powerful than the poem itself is that young Afro Latinas who are the age of Santa Cruz at the beginning of the story that she tells in the poem are now reciting the poem and the message is going viral. By reciting this poem at this young age, these girls, who are Black just like Santa Cruz, are able to take this woman’s story and find pride in it. They are able to put words to their struggles of living in a society with eurocentric beauty ideals and recite this peom as a reminder to themselves about how beautiful and strong they truly are.

Check out this video from Ecuador of a little girl reciting the poem.

Share this on Facebook if you think this deserves to go Viral!

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