UW-Green Bay students have been playing key roles in many protests across the city of Green Bay, calling for change amid the Black Lives Matter movement. Zoe Betancourt (Democracy and Justice Studies), Hannah Beauchamp-Pope, Sierra Slaughter and Jordyn Cook (Human Biology) are inspiring examples of UW-Green Bay students dedicated to bettering their community. See this selection from the Green Bay Press-Gazette story…
Betancourt was one of the students who helped organize a protest. She wants to work in public policy and has a specific passion for health care, education policy and civil rights. She is involved on the UW-Green Bay campus and participated in the Jump Start Program, a mentorship program from MESA for first-year multicultural students to get acclimated to a UW-Green Bay.
Betancourt is excited to see non-black people attending these protests and their understanding of injustices in society, but also wonders why this realization took so long for some.
“I’m grateful, no doubt, people are finally coming to this realization, but in the back of my mind I’m just wondering what changed,” Betancourt said. “These things have been happening for years. So what was the tipping point?”
Hannah Beauchamp-Pope and Sierra Slaughter
Both aspiring lawyers, Beauchamp-Pope and Slaughter have been attending many protests lately and speaking to crowds.
Both are hoping their contributions will have a large impact, especially in reflection of the history their black family members have partook in contributed to.
“My grandfather fought in the Vietnam War. My dad has faced a lot of discrimination here in Wisconsin,” Beauchamp-Pope said. “So when I think about that, when I think about those people, and then I think about the people who will come after me — my daughter, my granddaughters — I don’t want the next generation to keep fighting the same fight my parents fought. That my grandparents fought.”
“My grandpa on my black side protested in the civil rights movement, and I think everything has just changed since then,” Slaughter said. “And hopefully, for us protesting, it can also change even more.”
Cook, a UW-Green Bay women’s soccer player, has been speaking to the crowd at protests. She plans on obtaining a master’s degree in athletic training. She looks at herself as someone with passion for what she believes in.
“I’m part of this movement,” Cook said. “I think I’m doing my part to be a part of this movement. A whole is only good as the sum of its parts.”
She sees the movement as an opportunity for non-black community members to take a stance and encourages everybody to vote, especially in city and state elections that determine how communities are policed.
“And despite — because of my color, you should still love me. We should still be equal, regardless of that. So don’t say, ‘I don’t see color.’ That’s not the point. It is to see it, and love it regardless. To not treat it like less than.”