This afternoon the OMA joined the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) in its kick off event to celebrate the program’s 50 year anniversary! The EOP was established as an administrative response to the 1969 Black Student Union Walk Out, so it was fitting for the kick off event to be a reenactment of the walk out.
The event began at the Lonnie B Harris Black Cultural Center with an introduction by LBHBCC Director Terrance Harris, followed by a brief lecture by Dr. Dwaine Plaza giving historical context to the walk out, remarks by Dr. Janet Nishihara – current EOP Director – regarding the 50 years of EOP provided support to a variety of students, and inspiring words by Black Student Union President Angel McNabb-Lyons about being your authentic self and encouraging students to engage in community while attending OSU.
And then the walk out began!
The walk out was a silent walk, with all the Black student, faculty, staff, and community members walking in front, while allies walked behind them in solidarity. We walked from the LBHBCC through campus and out the main gates, just as the students did in 1969. We ended the event with time for reflection to answer the following 2 questions: what has changed or remained the same for Black students at OSU since the 1969 walk out? what is one thing you or your department can do or change to support Black students at OSU?