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Office of University Communications
HUSA's “Jena Six” Rally Attracts Hundreds
More than 1500 students packed Cramton Auditorium, while hundreds more gathered outside, on Wednesday night for the “Jena 6” rally hosted by the Howard University Student Association (HUSA) and the HU Chapter of the NAACP.
Student leaders from a number of organizations addressed an engaged crowd of students eager to do something to help.
“Jena 6” is the term coined to describe the six Black high-school students in Jena, La., who were charged last December with attempted second-degree murder for allegedly assaulting a White student who taunted them with racial slurs.
“For the last few days we have had more than 400 volunteers educating the campus about the case and promoting tonight’s rally,” said Marcus Ware, HUSA president. “We appreciate the tremendous support from the campus and the community at large.”
The six charged were: Mychal Bell, 16, already convicted; Robert Bailey Jr., 17; Theo Shaw, 17; Carwin Jones, 18; Bryant Purvis, 17, and a still unidentified minor.
“From time to time we hear that young people are apathetic, but certainly not our students at Howard University,” said Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert. “The outpour of support is unbelievable and we are extremely proud of the students’ collective efforts.”
Keynote speaker Greg Carr, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Afro American Studies, implored students to remain committed to a larger cause of preserving human dignity and equality.
“We have to hold ourselves to a higher moral and ethical standard than the legal system,” Carr said. “The efforts at Howard and around the country demonstrate that there is hope.”
To send letters of support to Mychal Bell please mail to the following address.
LaSalle Correctional Center
15976 Highway 165
Olla, LA 71465-4801