On July 23, 2015, Prairie View A&M University Alumni came together, with likeminds, in outrage about the injustice that took place at our Alma Mater. The Sandra Bland case hit home for us, not only as Prairie View Alumni, but as people who knew Sandy as well. In an effort to keep the #SandySpeaks platform alive, we are reaching out to our fellow alumni, family, friends, community members, and community activist to put together the #SandySpeaks Awareness Picnic. Out of this conversation our first step was to plan a picnic to send a message about who Sandy was to us.
Sandra Bland used the social media platform #SandySpeaks to discuss social injustices that we face on a day to day basis. By doing so, she opened the door for her peers and community members to continue her work even after her untimely death. Though our picnic we were able to raise awareness about social & political injustices that we face in our great nation everyday, as well as keeping the #SandySpeaks platform alive.
We held our first event to raise funds for the “Sandra Bland Social Justice Scholarship” and the Sandra Bland legal fund on August 8, 2015. It was a community picnic at the location of her arrest, Hope AME Church. We names the picnic the #SandySpeaks Awareness Picnic to encourage people to watch her videos.
The Peaceful Streets Project attended our event as our guest speakers. They conducted a “Know Your Rights” training and gave information about how to start a cop watching program to increase police accountability within the community. The Peaceful Streets Project is a grassroot organization that helps inform people of their rights. They encourage others to stand up for their rights, the rights of others, and help communities come together to hold local police department accountable.
We were able to put this event on with donations from everyone involved and sponsorship from local businesses. Ultimately, our picnic was a huge success and paved the way for future collaboration. We would like to give a special thanks to all the volunteers, H1 Fashions, DJ Mr. Rogers, Erawphoto Photography, and Dynamite Catering for donating their services to make this event possible.
“Now I know what my purpose is. My purpose is to go back to Texas. My purpose is to STOP ALL SOCIAL INJUSTICE IN THE SOUTH.”