Activists hold signs in support of the event on plaza on Friday, Oct. 1

BIPOC voices in Humboldt County


A gathering was held in the Plaza to support BIPOC community members and listen to their experiences. Students and community members listened to the challenges that BIPOC folks in Humboldt County face today. Nikki Valencia organizes these forums for people of color to voice their concerns. The main theme was calling out the lukewarm allyship in the Humboldt community. They want to call out an illusion of progressiveness that often fails to enact real action and support for people of color.

“So many people showed up in support, even in a short time frame,” Valencia said. “I feel proud and appreciative of the strong speakers. People were brave enough to get up there”.

One student speaker, Jesse Beacham Grijalva Prieto, feels that HSU is not a safe environment and does not meet the inclusivity standards that it preaches. Beacham Grijalva Prieto feels the support they need isn’t there in the resources that HSU provides, and came to the plaza to voice those issues.

“This is a space for people to listen to BIPOC voices,” Beacham Grijalva Prieto said in a speech directed towards white liberals. “It’s an opportunity for people to get that wake-up call and to be able to see who your community is.”

Joy Mehn is a junior at HSU who wants to see students turn out to more events like this and came to meet like-minded members of the community. She encourages people to act on their words.

“We talk about activism online, it’s important to actually go out and do the things we’re talking about,” Mehn said. Too many people get caught up in online “slacktivism” without actually bringing tangible support to their communities.

This was a space of gathering and voice. Tents offered first aid, cookies, BIPOC art, and community resources. The event took a confrontational turn as some folks insisted on being in the space without masks. Two white men unaffiliated with anyone else there had a confrontation in which a camera was thrown and the police were called, which had nothing to do with the organizers or speakers there. This just goes to show the obstacles that people of color face just trying to be heard in their community.

“It’s very frustrating to have these white people very clearly inserting themselves,” Beacham Grijalva Prieto said. The two men yelling drew attention away from the real reason people were there, to listen to people of color speak. It represents the challenges BIPOC communities are facing in voicing their experiences- white people trying to fit into a space that is not made for them.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply