Fatoumata Coulibaly calls out a chant to the crowd sitting on the steps of the Kirk Memorial Building Nov.15.
“What do we want?” Coulibaly said.
“Ceasefire!” the crowd shouted back.
The shouts grew more confident with each repetition until Coulibaly moved into a speech. The call and response marks the beginning of a peaceful demonstration in support of a ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine region.
Coulibaly is the president of the Muslim Students Association and organized the ceasefire to spread awareness of the global conflict.
“You don’t need to spend any money to help people in need. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars… you can help in the simplest way,” Coulibaly said. “One of the things I want people to remember is that staying silent is the same as doing the bad deed.”
At the protest, speakers gave a brief history lesson on the conflict and additional speakers shared how this conflict had affected their lives. Coulibaly listed the death toll and encouraged the crowd to boycott companies that give support to Israel.
Olivia Coon heard about the event through Instagram and word of mouth. Coon said she felt it was important to come to this event to show support for a ceasefire.
“I just feel like it’s the most important thing we can do right now is share our time and our voice and just try to make a difference,” Coon said.
The Jewish Student Union held a candlelight vigil for the victims of the recent violence in the Israel-Palestine region Nov. 14 at the Kirk Memorial Building. Candles were set up and handed out to attendees and a prayer was given.
Both Coulibaly and Coon stressed the importance of activism in college. Coulibaly said activism in this age group can impact the local community.
Program coordinator for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Kerrion Dean, attended the ceasefire and memorial events. He said activism is especially important for college students because it teaches people how to engage in empathy.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for Truman students being able to show awareness and stand up for things they want the rest of the community to be aware of,” Dean said.