A new organization, Temple Coalition for Change, spearheaded a protest against racism on campus and police brutality. Students, faculty, and community members took to Cecil B. Moore to protest and march.
While marching, they stopped next to Temple’s Campus safety services administration building and held a moment of silence for victims of police brutality.
At the Bell Tower, different organizations such as Stadium Stompers and RAFT Caucus spoke. While they have different goals they have one main message: They want Temple to be more supportive of their surrounding community.
Mecca Bullock, from the Philly Liberation Center, talked about how she had seen her community change over the years because of Temple, “The school my brothers and sisters went to have been bulldozed for soccer fields.”
Temple Political Science major Teresa Swartley is a member of Temple Coalition for Change. She said, “It is our responsibility, we are the ones that put Temple here, we are Temple and it’s time to take responsibility for the impacts we’ve had on this neighborhood. We need to hold our administration and our Board of Trustees accountable.”
After the “Teach-In,” demonstrators signed the list of demands Temple Coalition for Change is asking for. The list includes, defunding TUPD, providing job security for instructors, and altering the student code of conduct. The list was left on the steps to Sullivan Hall for President Englert.
One of the members of Temple Coalition for Change and organizers of the event, Jack Fletcher, commented on President Englerts recent retirement announcement, “We want to put together a representative and democratic process that will allow our community, faculty, campus workers, students, everyone to have their say, have a vote and then hopefully have a president who can represent this community instead of just the Board of Trustees.”
Max Avener, a non-tenured track instructor, emphasized that this fight shouldn’t just be coming from students, “I think that every single person who’s on faculty at Temple has a responsibility to our students, to our colleagues, to the community–who’s land we’re using–to care and to listen and to try to make change.”
A Coalition for Change member and an organizer, Alexandra Gordon, is looking forward to change after today’s demonstration. “We hope that now is a time we can tackle, both in person and online, for Temple to make actual change, but that’s only if our voices are actually heard and we saw our voices being heard today, even if it’s by us, it’s a start.”
Temple Coalition for Change plans to have more protests and meetings, both in-person and online.