Amid nationwide protests against police violence, Ohio State student organizations took to Instagram to raise money for groups supporting Black communities and recent demonstrations both nationwide and in Columbus.
Fourteen student organizations raised more than $4,300 for eight anti-racist organizations from June 6-13. Christina Kim, a fourth-year in personal finance and president of Pen Pals in North Korea, said that her organization initiated the fundraiser following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans who have died as a result of police violence.
“The time has come for us to have hard conversations with our peers, our family members about this issue. It’s about time that we break from this silence,” Kim said. “I think that the Asian community has definitely benefited from the Black community and I think that to give back we have to speak up. We can’t stay neutral.”
Kim said it is important for groups to combat the “model minority myth,” the stereotype that Asians in the United States are obedient citizens or immigrants and their socioeconomic success is related to higher productivity. In order to fight that stereotype, she said the Asian community needs to stand up for other minority communities.
“The Asian community is a little well known for just staying silent and not speaking up,” Kim said. “I think enough is enough.”
Pen Pals in North Korea raised money for Communities United Against Police Brutality, an organization that investigates instances of police brutality and offers assistance to those affected. Other donations went to Columbus Freedom Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, the Black Queer and Intersectional Collective, the Bail Fund, Black Future Lab, Black Visions Collective and the Pimento Relief Fund.
Pen Pals in North Korea will announce the final monetary tallies Wednesday.
Will Flaws, a fourth-year in strategic communication and director of fundraising for the Boo Radley Society, a student organization committed to random acts of kindness, said the organization raised more than $200 for the Equal Justice Initiative. The organization provides legal advice and counseling to prisoners who were wrongfully convicted or who cannot afford representation — many of whom are people of color. Flaws said it is important to spread awareness through social media about organizations to which people can donate.
“You hope that you are also reaching the people that aren’t donating. You want people to actually think about what’s going on and not just go, ‘OK cool, I donated some money, and that’s that,’” Flaws said. “Everyone needs to actively change their mindset if anything is gonna really, really change.”
Mia Cariello, a fourth-year in women’s, gender and sexuality studies and president of Take Back the Night, a student organization that strives to end sexual and intimate partner violence, said her organization raised $400 for the Black Queer and Intersectional Collective. The collective is a central Ohio organization that helps Black LGBTQIA+ people through community organizing and education, according to its website.
Cariello said her organization’s members have attended its events such as the March for Black Trans Women in November 2019, and they wanted to uplift local Black organizations as well.
“The purpose of raising awareness is to ultimately try to break down these systems of white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism, all of these things,” Cariello said. “I think protests have gotten a lot of results. I’ve never seen people change so fast and be so willing to learn more so than in the last two weeks.”
This story was updated June 17 at 9:54 a.m. with the estimated amount of money raised by 14 of the original 16 student organizations. Two student organizations did not raise any money.