Racism rally at MU expands beyond black voices

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COLUMBIA - The creator of the Racism Lives Here movement, Danielle Walker, hosted an intersectional rally on MU's Lowry Mall on Thursday afternoon. 

"Intersectionality is not just who you are, but it's all of your identities," MU student Kelcea Barnes said. 

Barnes identifies as a black woman who is bi-sexual and comes from a middle class background.

"There are my identities that I go by," Barnes said. "They all intersect to make me Kelcea Barnes."  

The goal of Thursday's rally was to send a message to the UM system's administration that marginalized students on MU's campus are not divided, but unified. 

"I think that's something from last semester's protests that might have been lacking because we only saw it to be about black students," Barnes said. 

Walker, who has been a student at MU since 2008, said society tends to look at the issue of racism through a narrow lens.

"The narrative that comes with racism is always very dichotomous," Walker said. "It's always an interaction that happens been white individuals and black individuals. It's important to understand how other communities of color are affected by racism."

Students and faculty of all races and genders gathered on Lowry Mall. Some students held signs denouncing race and gender discrimination at MU. 

Walker and other speakers took turns using a megaphone to voice their frustration and complaints. 

"It's about to be March and administration has yet to meet our needs," Walker chanted. "They are more concerned with appeasing legislators than they are about making sure students feel safe."

Walker said the message for administration is that marginalized students will continue to stand in unity until the necessary changes are made.