The officer-involved shooting in Charlotte hit close to home for many students at UNCW.
Many students are from Charlotte and its surrounding areas, and some said they were at a loss for words following the shooting.
"My primary concern is making sure that our students are safe and cared for, and to make sure they have the resources they need to combat issues like this," said Olivia Newell, a graduate assistant in the Upperman African American Cultural Center on campus.
The center planned a meeting for students on Wednesday night, the day after 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed. That night protestors shut down Old Concord Road in Charlotte. Newell is helping students through the frustration many students are feeling.
“They feel silenced. Both by North Carolina legislation but also by other administration as well. They feel as though their concerns are not being taken seriously so those are some of the recurring themes that I've experienced personally, but the range of emotions is innumerable,” she said.
UNCW student Charla Jefferies said it's unfortunate a peaceful protest turned violent, but people should continue to be proactive.
"We can't really do anything else right now except bring awareness to it. So having those panels and having those talks is progressive, but only people that are interested will go to those," said Jefferies. "Putting people in uncomfortable positions will be good, but how can we do that other than these walks, which lead to riots?"
Newell hopes to help students move forward in a constructive way.
“The first step for me is validating my students’ experiences, and their feelings and their emotions, and after that it’s important to organize and solidarity is an important component as well,” Newell stated.
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