On November 12 at 7 p.m., The African American Alliance (Triple A) hosted a Candlelight Vigil. Students and community members gathered together at the quad in a circle with candles lit while holding a piece of paper with the name and location of a victim of police brutality. One by one, members read out loud the information and blew out their candles. “After Mike Brown’s death a few of us started talking about having a vigil at Sewanee to honor his memory as well as the many others who have fallen victim to the law,” said Sheana Algama (C’15).
These talks molded into reality and the organization started to promote the event by putting up posters all over campus of Sewanee students holding pictures of the victims of police brutality, who were targeted on the basis of race, in front of their faces. This “implied that it could have been any of us killed by law enforcement” said Algama. The purpose of the vigil was to honor the lives of the victims while also raising awareness on campus about police brutality since it is easy for Sewanee students to get caught up in the Sewanee bubble and forget about the problems facing people outside of the campus.
Although the night was cold and windy, a lot of people showed up to honor the victims. One of the students was Sandy Milien (C’17) who was dressed in multiple layers but was still excited to raise awareness for police brutality. Milien said that the vigil “was a very meaningful event because it showed that even though this community has not been affected by police brutality, we still stand against injustice towards young people.” She also added that the vigil “made me realize that I am very privileged to be part of a community like Sewanee where no matter our backgrounds we share norms and values that allow us to unity against worthy causes such as police brutality.”