As Black Lives Matters protesters are peacefully demonstrating against cases of police brutality in Charlotte and throughout the nation, a university in the Northeast is putting its full support behind the grassroots activist movement.
Last week, the University of Vermont (UVM) approved a Black Lives Matter flag to be displayed in front of the Dudley J. Davis Student Center. The approval of the flag from the Student Government Association was to provide support for those "struggling with the violence and search for justice in this country."
Sophomore Akilah Ho-young, a student activist at UVM, snapped a photo of the Black Lives Matter flag on the pole and posted the photo to Facebook.
"Can I tell you I wanted to cry when I saw this?" she wrote on Facebook. "My body filled with lots of joy to know that my predominantly white University is paying tribute to the deaths in the black community. Its the littlest thing that just means so much to me."
As of Monday, Ho-young's Facebook post received more than 14,000 shares.
On Saturday, the Black Lives Matter Flag was stolen and the university is investigating it as a theft.
"This action underscores the necessity in this country to engage in a frank and open discussion about the injustices that so many Americans face simply because of the color of their skin," said SGA President Jason Maulucci. "We as a nation will not be able to address these challenges unless we fully acknowledge that there is a problem."
Ho-young was admittedly saddened by the flag's initial removal, but she is glad that a replacement flag is being used.
"I just feel like UVM took a step in the right direction," Ho-young told the Burlington Free Press. "The flag being stolen does not change my feelings about UVM because I know that not everyone is going to be in support of the Black Lives Matter movement."
She shared a photo of the new flag to Facebook.
On Monday, Ho-young and other activists participated in a Black Out event on campus. The peaceful action of solidarity is a celebration of the Black community and its alliances. Participants dressed in all black attire to show support.