VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — This summer has brought on a lot of demonstrations calling for equality for Black people in the United States, and a new student group called Cultural Wellness Coalition is planning a march Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. The march calls for justice for Black people.
“We watch incident after incident happen, and not to mention the countless ones that we were not able to witness due to no cameras being around or whatever the case may be,” USD senior Marcus Destin said. “We hear about these stories.”
USD senior Marcus Destin is co-president of the Cultural Wellness Coalition, and USD senior Darion Bolden is secretary.
“We see these things happen, and then being black on a predominantly white campus, it can be damn scary at these times like this,” Destin said. “When there’s so much division, so much hatred, so much disagreement. Now is the time to show that we are a community that is going to stand together.”
“You can’t love me without loving my skin color and who I am … I can take off my jersey, but I can’t take off my skin color; I can’t change that,” Bolden said. “And I’m proud to say that I’m black, I’m African American. So, and for every other person of color, you can’t support us and love us unless you support this movement and are for racial equality and justice.”
The march will start by the DakotaDome and end near Old Main in the heart of campus. One of the people participating is Doug Wagner, director of USD’s Muenster University Center.
“I think it’s important that as a white person I use my privilege to uplift black voices where I can,” Wagner said.
Destin and Bolden say this can be everyone’s march.
“We invited everybody that we could, from University Police Department to the city police department to the mayor to President Gestring, to everybody that we could, we wanted everybody to know that all are welcome, all are more than welcome to help and come and stand with us,” Destin said.
“We want to be able to include everybody,” Bolden said. “Unity is everything.”