...hundreds of 17 year old girls at the Minnesota State Capitol. And...OK, we need to go. We need to get out of here... Everyone knew that the protests were coming. They kind of just hurried us on the bus and drove us back to camp. We were in this big auditorium and we just sat there and prayed. And to me, that was the first time I was like...Why is the system so against us? Then I started studying Criminal Justice. - Zoe Carrasco
Zoe Carrasco was attending Girls State in St. Paul when Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of killing Philando Castile. It changed her perspective and the trajectory of her life. She studies Criminal Justice at Bemidji State University where she’s also a member of the track and field team and President of the BSU Black Student Union. In this Area Voices, learn why she’s committed to police reform and how the Black Student Union serves students at Bemidji State.
I really just don't want the momentum to stop...Chauvin...He's charged. He's guilty. He's convicted. ..I don't want people to be like, “OK, that was it. That was our goal.” Because it's literally not.
The black man is the single most demographic to be arrested... you look at the black male population in the United States and that's extremely disproportionate...five times more likely to be arrested...that doesn't make any sense...The whole thin blue line and the culture to cover up police corruption...when did that happen?
In a place like Bemidji, when people of color are sitting in class, there is usually one, maybe two people of color in the classroom...so we created the Black Student Union really to just have that space where people can come and be together and be surrounded by people who hopefully have the same values as, that look similar to them, that have similar experiences. But even then, people who aren't people of color can come and have a place to just learn. We want to be that open door...where people can just come and learn about black culture... learn about black history... just to be a safe space where we can just be together. - Zoe Carrasco
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