On the week of Oct. 15, the Students for Quality Education (SQE) committee organized a statewide Week of Action event to continue bringing attention to the unsolved murder of David Josiah Lawson. With help from the California Faculty Association (CFA) they held banner drops, screenings of the documentary on Josiah and various open student discussions.
“[Our] goal was to just keep Josiah’s memory alive and just keep it present because it is important to keep his memory and the pressure on the whole CSU system,” Jazmin Sandoval, a SQE member, said. “It is really important that students feel safe on campus and students are not feeling safe, especially students of color.”
CFA Humboldt Chapter President Renee Byrd decided with the SQE to focus on healing at some of the events held here at HSU.
“One of the things that has been really central to the Black Lives Matter movement is this notion of healing justice and thinking about how to make our movements healing, and how to think about grief as actually political radical work to be doing together as a collective,” Byrd said.
CFA worked collectively with SQE to coordinate the Week of Action throughout the 21 participating CSU campuses by assigning a Council for Affirmative Action representative to work with SQE students in each of the campuses and help them organize events.
The CFA decided to partner with the Justice for Josiah campaign and work with Charmaine Lawson after an incident at a Board of Trustees meeting in July where a police officer was assigned to stand behind only Charmaine Lawson while she spoke.
“It really sparked us and we were outraged,” Sharon Elise, the CFA Associate Vice President of Affirmative Action South said.
The CFA held a panel discussion on the Justice for Josiah campaign during the 88th state assembly that was held on Oct.20-21 in Los Angeles.
The CFA is looking ahead to the spring semester specifically April 15, which will mark two years since David Josiah Lawson’s murder, to potentially host another week of action.
They have also worked to create an augmented reality poster that has a video of Josiah behind it and can be seen through a phone app when pointed at the poster. They will be dispersing the posters throughout the campuses in the upcoming months.
The Statewide Reaction
After the week, the CSU Chancellor and District Attorney visited HSU and met with police. The Week of Action was a step closer for Justice for Josiah campaign in uniting and informing campuses statewide.
“People have been very receptive on campus, I spoke to our senate and they were shocked and they were very glad they were told about it,” Elise said. “So this is something people want to know. Those of us who work on college campuses know we are not immune from other things going on in society and we want to know what is going on in our campus community.”