Events Planned to Commemorate Occupy SLU Anniversary
The Office of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement (DICE) is commemorating Occupy SLU Week with a series of events to remember the 2014 protests for equality and justice that took place on the SLU campus and in the surrounding St. Louis area.
Occupy SLU was six days of a peaceful occupation at the campus clock tower that included daily teach-ins and community conversations in October 2014, following the officer-involved shootings of two African American young men: Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and VonDerrit Myers Jr., the son of a long-time member of the SLU community, VonDerrit Myers Sr., in the nearby Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis.
Occupy SLU ended with the adoption of the Clock Tower Accords, a 13-point agreement committing Saint Louis University to actively strengthen diversity, inclusion and equity on campus. In the spirit of the Gospels, the Accords also extend that commitment to the city and suburban neighbors, particularly to underserved families.
“Occupy SLU is important to the institution because it emphasizes the racial and economic injustices of marginalized and brutalized human being and communities, which, in turn, brought awareness about people, especially black human beings, who wouldn’t otherwise be recognized by others that are living under far different realities — the pain and social ills that were at the center of the protesters concerns,” said Richard Marks, Ed.D., director of the Cross Cultural Center and Center for Global Citizenship.
This year, to mark the anniversary, DICE is inviting students, faculty, staff, and administrators to participate in campus-wide events to reflect upon the history and lasting effects of Occupy SLU and the Clock Tower Accords. Events begin Friday, Oct. 8, and run through Friday, Oct. 15.
All events are family-friendly, and children are welcome. In case of rain, those events planned at the clock tower will be held in the Center for Global Citizenship (CGC) Auditorium.
“Saint Louis University commemorates Occupy SLU because it brought attention to the tensions and injustices in our world and at our institution,” Marks said. “It is a reminder of how Saint Louis University is accountable to the mission and its stakeholders, especially those who are marginalized and underrepresented.
“The events during the commemorative week are events to raise awareness; remember the works of the fallen who have paved the way for our progress; assess the advancement and growth within the Clock Tower Accords; and highlight love, light, healing and justice."
Schedule of Events
- Friday, Oct. 8, from 4 to 5 p.m.: "Remembering Our Own: A procession for VonDeritt Myers Jr." Meet at Marchetti Towers for a procession through campus culminating at the clock tower to hear VonDerrit Myers Sr. speak about his son with activist Kayla Reed and scholar-activist Kira Banks, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology.
- Monday, Oct. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: "So You Think You're An Activist: Activism 101." Led by Jamell Spann and Brittany Ferrell, come learn how to commit to anti-racism efforts, be comfortable in your discomfort, and amplify your voice and those of others. The event will be at the clock tower with light refreshments and fellowship to follow in the CGC atrium.
- Monday, Oct. 11, from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.: "Just Cause: The Experience." Participate in an online, interactive drama set against backdrops like #MeToo and the death of George Floyd and the ensuing mass protests across the globe for racial justice. With the power of theater and civil discourse, the audience will adjudicate a legal drama about an artistic director who is suing her former employer — a prestigious Chicago theater — for breach of contract after firing her for “racial insensitivity.” The event will be on Zoom.
- Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: "MLK @ SLU and the Clock Tower Accords: A Pilgrimage Through Time." Commemorate the anniversary of the Civil Rights leader's visit to SLU and reflect upon his words. The event will be at the clock tower with light refreshments and fellowship to follow in the CGC atrium.
- Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 4 to 5 p.m.: "Ferguson and Tikkun Olam: Repair the World." Rabbi Susan Talve, an active community member, will speak to memorialize the 2014 Ferguson protests. The event will be at the clock tower with light refreshments and fellowship to follow in the CGC atrium.
- Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.: "Say Their Names." Led by Luella Loseille, Cross Cultural Center coordinator. The event will be at the clock tower.
- Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: "Still With Us: Dr. Jonathan Smith's 'Do I Move you?'" Based on the work of the late Dr. Jonathan Smith "Do I Move You?" is a collection of poetry, music and dance performed by the Black Repertory Company. The performance will be in the CGC auditorium.
- Thursday, Oct. 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: "Remembering OccupySLU." Jonathan Pulphus, once a student activist at SLU, will discuss the past, present and future hopes stemming from Occupy SLU. The event will be at the clock tower with light refreshments and fellowship to follow in the CGC atrium.
- Friday, Oct. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m.: "Whose Streets Movie Showing." Come view the documentary about how the unjust killing of Michael Brown brought a community together and sparked a global movement. The showing will be on DuBourg Hall quad and snacks will be provided.