by Ilyssa Weiner, WTOP10-TV
Moderated speak-out series “Oz Speaks” held the most recent talk in their series on Oct. 25. The topic was on the issue about Blue Lives Matter.
Students, faculty and members of the community were encouraged to speak about their thoughts and feelings about the situation without it being a debate. Some participants shared stories of family members in law enforcement while others discussed the impact of both the Blue Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter movements on their personal lives.
Sophomore Keonna Wren was one of the participants of the event. One of the issues she spoke about was her identity as a black woman and how the two movements, [Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter] shaped her life.
“I absolutely love events like this because it’s not a debate,” said Wren. “I’m happy I got to spoke my truth and that’s what I came here for.”
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jerri Howland is one of the organizers for “Oz Speaks.” She says this speak out is different from the others because of the structure for how Blue Lives Matter came about and how this movement contrasts to Black Lives Matter.
“It’s not only important for students, but it’s important for everyone in our society to make sure we listen to all points of views,” Howland said. “I think it’s when we don’t listen to others and don’t understand their point of view that we don’t really get to the heart of what diversity is.”
Howland says the goal of the “Oz Speaks” series is to create a space for the SUNY Oswego community to freely speak about their thoughts on issues. She believes the series has successfully done that so far.
The next “Oz Speaks” talk will be Nov. 1 at 6:30 PM in the Campus Center Auditorium.