On one side of campus on April 20, people were tailgating in preparation for G-Day with food, drinks and music. On another side, the University of Georgia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People led a march down South Milledge Avenue, drawing attention to racial discrimination on campus.
In a letter posted on social media, the UGA NAACP clarified that the march was not a protest against Greek life or UGA. Rather, the march was an effort to bring awareness to the institutional problems of racial inequalities throughout UGA.
President of the UGA NAACP Kaela Yamini organized the march to show that students do not stand with racial discrimination on campus. The UGA NAACP hopes the administration feels more inclined to address the concerns of students of color through offering more diverse topics that can be taught to students, having diversity programs for Greek life and having a council consisting of students, faculty, staff and community members to help create permanent change, Yamini said.
“We as students do not stand for racial discrimination on our campus and we want the administration to take the appropriate action to make sure it doesn't happen again,” Yamini said.
The march started at the Jittery Joe’s on South Milledge Avenue and went through Baxter and Lumpkin Street, finishing at the UGA Tate Student Center West Lawn. During the march, about 40 students led a cheer of, “Our people united, we’ll never be defeated.”
“It’s a march for Greek people and people who are not Greek to all come together in unity in light of the recent events that happened on campus, specifically the video,” said Wesley Tillman, a sophomore marketing major from Columbus, Georgia and newly inaugurated UGA NAACP president.
Corey Soper, the Interfraternity Council president, shared a similar sentiment.
“From the Greek perspective, we wanted to show that we are united against racism along with the rest of the UGA community,” Soper said.
Among the people who attended the march was UGA biochemistry Professor Art Edison who wants to see UGA improve the level of diversity on campus.
“We have a long way to go and we’re making good progress, but we need to work on things,” Edison said.