By Jordan Fairchild
Elm Staff Writer
On Sept. 12, Chestertown’s Social Action Committee for Racial Justice completed a Black Lives Matter mural on High Street with the help of volunteers from Chestertown and Washington College.
The mural on High Street says “Black Lives Matter” in large letters and “Chestertown Unites Against Racism” below it.
Another mural was painted on Sept. 19, on College Avenue which reads “We Can’t Breathe” in a large font with “Chestertown Unites Against Racism” written below.
Washington College’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee asked student-athletes residing in Chestertown this semester to help out with both murals.
Volunteers were asked to sign up for various tasks such as distributing masks, giving water and snacks to other volunteers, and handing out paint and equipment for the completion of the mural.
There were also a few WC student athletes that helped paint the second mural. The student-athletes spent a few hours out of their day to support the cause and show action against racism.
“Within the campus we are trying to make a more welcoming environment for students, especially those of color. But it’s not just our campus community we need to feel good in,” junior women’s tennis player, Alisha White said. “I really hope [these murals] bring more people to feel welcomed.”
White is also Vice President of WC’s SAAC and chair of the Racial Justice Committee within SAAC.
SAAC has been an advocate for these murals by posting on social media, facilitating volunteer sign-up, and even volunteering themselves to the completion of the projects.
“We are trying to do our part to bridge the gap between the community and our institution,” senior field hockey player and SAAC President Kailyn Brandt said.
SAAC not only helped with the murals in Chestertown, but is also planning events within the athletic department at the College that they hope to extend to the Chestertown community.
“A lot of the events we have planned are virtual and within the athletic department. We plan to collaborate with the community outreach committee to do things with Chestertown” White said.
White also explained SAAC has been collaborating with the Black Student Union on campus and plans to branch out and work with other Black-led student organizations.
“I definitely think there’s a possibility for a mural on campus, our student population is very supportive of the idea,” Brandt said. “We believe in equality and doing what is right. Maybe this will encourage others to stand up for what they believe in as well.”
Students and faculty at the College can follow SAAC’s initiatives and get involved by checking out their Instagram page, @washcollsaac or by checking out their website at https://www.washingtoncollegesports.com/insideAthletics/Student_Athlete_Advisory_Committee/Index
Featured Photo caption: Chestertown council members kick off the painting of the “We Can’t Breathe” mural on College Avenue. Photo by MacKenzie Brady.