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'Leadership for Liberation' rally to demand anti-racism training, suspension of in-person classes

Courtesy Photo | New America Project

The New America Project (NAP) will host the "Leadership for Liberation March and Rally" at 5 p.m.  Sept. 18 in front of the Bovee University Center.

NAP President Emily Jones said the rally is the next phase of "escalation" for the #NOTFiredUpForFall campaign, which calls for the suspension of in-person classes for the fall semester.  

"The whole purpose is to escalate the (COVID-19) crisis, escalate the target, escalate our voices and make us a little more heard," Jones said. "What we would like is to really just get a response from the administration. Every action we’ve done, we’ve gotten basically no response."   

The rally will combine NAP's COVID-19 demands and the demands of the Stop Racial Injustice and Bias campaign, led by Portage senior Amethyst Stewart. The rally's specific demands include: 

  • suspending in-person classes
  • protecting CMU employees
  • defunding the Central Michigan University Police Department
  • university-mandated anti-racism training
  • providing safe spaces for Black, Indigenous and people of color

The #NOTFiredUpForFall campaign initially started as a petition to suspend in-person classes, which received approximately 1,000 signatures. During the summer, NAP dropped off the petition with 600 signatures to President Bob Davies' office.

"We did not receive a response from them that day, but the next day, the university had posted on social media about the #FiredUpForFall campaign," Jones said.

This inspired NAP's counter #NOTFiredUpForFall campaign, which involved a "banner drop" on campus and a phone and email bank to Davies, the Board of Trustees and provost.

"(CMU's administration) keeps responding with, ‘we know students want to come back,’ and we have nearly a 1,000 signatures that say, ‘actually students don’t want to come back,’" Jones said. "1,000 signatures should be enough for our voices to at least be heard and considered, which hasn’t happened thus far." 

For more information, you can reach out to Jones at To request specific accommodations, you can fill out the event registration.