The SUNY Oswego Student Association and Black Student Union, working with local organization Accept Oswego, organized a peaceful protest in support of Black Lives Matter on Sunday (June 14) across the campus and city.

A rally in front of Sheldon Hall included speeches by Keonna Wren, past president of the SUNY Oswego Black Student Union, and Omar van Reenen, past president of the college’s Student Association, to a crowd of hundreds of students, faculty, staff and community members.

Wren emotionally talked about what she and other young people of color face growing up, and how she has realized the need to speak up. "America, I’ve been silent for way too long," Wren said. "Hear black women when we speak."

The gathering then marched to Culkin Hall to meet with President Deborah F. Stanley. Student Association President Lizeth Ortega presented student requests, and college President Stanley gave her support for their efforts and directed the college to raise the Black Lives Matter flag.

As President Stanley shared in her June 12 letter to Ortega, she addressed the group, “I pledge to you that SUNY Oswego will be unwavering in pursuing justice, equality and peace. We will not rest. I hear you, I am listening to you, I stand with you."

The peaceful protest then marched downtown to City Hall in Oswego, where they raised the Black Lives Matter flag.