WEBSTER – Nichols College graduate Benjamin Lawson is making his voice known.
Lawson was the captain of the Nichols Track & Field team, a Professional Development Seminar Teachers Assistant, Big Brothers Big Sisters Volunteer, and he served as Vice President of Men of Distinction [MOD].
MOD was created to ensure that the minorities at Nichols didn’t feel out of place.
“Men of Distinction really changed who I am and how I move. The MOD has shaped me into the leader I am today and without the support of my brothers there are many things that I don’t know if I would have been able to do. The Webster protest being one of them,” Lawson said.
Earlier this June, Lawson helped organize a Black Lives Matter march in Webster, alongside his sister Abigail Cooper and Jerad Rice.
“The march in Webster was history in the making. We had upwards of 600 people from the surrounding area. It was a truthfully humbling and amazing experience. All I know is that we were a part of something huge,” Lawson said.
The Black Lives Matters movement has impacted Lawson tremendously, having gone through some experiences himself.
“In 2012 when Trayvon Martin got shot, I was 13. I was too young to notice at the time that black people were being killed by the police at a tremendous rate. The Black Lives Matter [movement] originated from that because it seems as though America has acted like all Black lives don’t matter even though all life on this earth is sacred,” Lawson said.
He added, “Personally, I have had my racial encounters, been racially profiled, stopped by the police and not know what’s going to happen. This isn’t a trend, it’s a movement. Although I am not officially a part of the group, I know that this is something that will bring change,” Lawson says.
Lawson expresses concern for the world we’re living in, change needs to come. As an active leader and advocate for BLM, Lawson has advice for students and the younger generation to come.
Lawson said, “All I have to say is treat everyone how you’d like to be treated. We are all occupants of this earth; life is too short to have unnecessary hate. For students coming in and for younger students, it is imperative that when you see something that’s not right, to speak up. That’s all it takes, and you would be stepping in the right direction. To white students: make sure to educate yourselves on issues going on in the world because there might be a time that you yourself must stand up to combat wrongdoings. To all black students as well as other people of color: Keep on pushing regardless of the obstacles, they don’t want to see us win but we will regardless,”.