Thirty-one Boston College students and faculty laid on the snow-covered Stokes Lawn on Monday evening to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in calling to end police brutality and racial discrimination. The die-in lasted for 16 minutes—one minute for each bullet that struck Laquan McDonald when he was killed by police in Chicago on Oct. 20, 2014.
The die-in was organized by the Committee for the Integration for Social Justice in Psychology and the Graduate Students of Color Association.
Over 60 college campuses across the nation held die-ins today, the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., at 6 p.m., the approximate time of King’s death.
The group chose to use McDonald’s death as a guideline for the die-in because the college students who first decided to host the die-in today are from Chicago.
“This all sprouted from their interest in drawing attention to this incident as one example of a larger problem—of police brutality—that basically constitutes a mental health crisis in the U.S.,” Bryn Spielvogel, GSLOE ’17, said.
In accordance with BC’s code of conduct, the die-in was pre-approved by the University.
“As a committee, we’re interested in getting involved in social justice agendas and trying to further push psychology in the direction of being very active in terms of social justice events,” Spielvogel said.
The group first heard about the nationwide event via an email from a student representative from the American Psychological Association.
“In general, it’s something that we all care about,” Spielvogel said.
This event, she said, was also to show that psychologists need to help find solutions to this issue because it affects their clients and their research, and psychologists have the potential to perpetuate racial discrimination. As graduate psychology students, Spielvogel said, they need to make sure that they are doing what they can to combat racial injustices.
This movement comes on the heels of White Coats for Black Lives, Stacy Morris, GLSOE ’16, said, a movement in which medical students took action to show that they are advocates for black lives.
“This is a response to that, saying that psychologists also have ownership over advocating for black lives,” Morris said.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor