By Audrey Hertenstein
We shuffled through the metal detector and were directed to stand with our backs against a wall – the final step in an hour long process to enter the Florence, AZ Detention Center to visit with detainees the organization Mariposas sin Fronteras had been communicating with to offer assistances such as letters of community support and a friendly voice to reach out to. The guards ushered me and the other Loyola students through several locked doors and into a visitation room where we were only allowed one hour to meet, rules which seemed much too strict for a person whose only crime had been seeking asylum within our borders…
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The capturing on video of the recent death of Terence Crutcher due to a police shooting has renewed concern about the respect paid to black lives in U.S. society. ReflectiveMedEd reprints these remarks from a #WhiteCoats4BlackLives event at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine which was part of a national observance that gathered significant media attention. (See MSNBC link)
Loyola Stritch Medical Students Participate in National Justice Action
The following remarks were delivered by first year student, Kamaal Jones at a “die-in” on December 10, 2014 in the Atrium of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. This event was part of a nation-wide day of action at medical schools calling attention to the need to become a more just and inclusive society toward persons of color. The staged “die-in” specifically expressed solidarity with all seeking justice for deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. This action was student-led and coordinated by Chizelle Rush.
Good afternoon, my name is Kamaal Jones and I am a first year medical student here at Stritch. I first would like to briefly acknowledge all those involved in making today happen, specifically Chizelle Rush, who really took the lead in mobilizing and organizing us for this event. Today we, along with over 1000 medical students across the nation, are here to stand in solidarity with the recent protests which have captivated our country. For those who may lack some familiarity, these demonstrations have been born from a long history of issues with racial profiling and police violence in our society, and specifically, the grossly disproportionate levels at which the lives of Black and Brown people are taken by officers in this nation. The tipping point which has served as the catalyst for these most recent events was the August 9th killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as the July 17th killing of an unarmed man named Eric Garner by an NYPD officer in Staten Island, NY. In both of these incidents, Grand Jury’s decided not to seek any charges against the officers…
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