Students Still Pushing for Justice for Josiah

by Cassaundra Caudillo and Jose Herrera

Student leaders’ voices rung high in the UC Quad denouncing the actions of Humboldt State University administration and local police at a Justice for Josiah rally on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The Black Student Union (BSU) on campus held a rally demanding justice for the murder of HSU student David Josiah Lawson on Wednesday, Sept. 12 from noon to 1 p.m.

This rally was organized partly by the vice president of BSU, Barbara Singleton, as well as the Justice for Josiah committee with additional guidance from Lawson’s mom, Charmaine. 

Speakers at Diversity is Not Inclusion Rally
Daniel Segura CRGS major and vice president of the Black Student Union Barbara Singleton address a crowd with a microphone during a rally “Diversity is Not Inclusion” at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. on Sept.12, 2018. | photo by Jose Herrera

“People showed up and showed out for a cause and that’s what I’m happy about,” Singleton said.  “It was a good turnout and we educated people who didn’t know about (the movement for Justice for Josiah).”

In this hour-long rally, student leaders were able to voice their grievances and complaints in regards to the lack of evidence and progress of Lawson’s case. They also demanded changes at HSU and the California State University system for safety and inclusion for students of color.

Singleton, among other students, spoke from the balcony of the University Center building and rallied up students to feel the anger and disappointment they felt, dispersing that among the crowd.

The crowd consisted of a mix of returning students, freshmen and new transfer students. Many students expressed that they had no idea who Lawson was until they stepped into the UC Quad to see there was a rally going on for this stranger.

Students at Diversity is Not Inclusion Rally
HSU students and faculty gather around the UC Quad during the Diversity is Not Inclusion rally at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. on Sept. 12, 2018. | photo by Jose Herrera

New biology transfer student Kaleena Pinto shared her confusion with the assumed secrecy of Lawsons’ death.

“It’s not something that they should be trying to keep quiet about,” Pinto said. “It seems like authority is just trying to forget about it.”

Other students, such as anthropology major Vanessa Pacheco, have followed Lawson’s case and want to see change and answers.

“I’m here because it’s something that matters to me,” Pacheco said. “Josiah deserves justice and I will do whatever I can to see it happen.”

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