OSWEGO, N.Y. — Just days after the Jacob Blake shooting made national news, student Brandon Gonzalez is leading the charge for justice on SUNY Oswego’s campus.
On only the second day of classes, the young activist led his classmates in a peaceful protest where he read off a list of demands for the school’s administration.
“The protest wasn’t organized just around Jacob Blake,” said Gonzalez. “It was also a call to action for SUNY Oswego’s administration to recognize and support their black students and faculty.”
Leading has always been a passion for Gonzalez, and it did not just begin in college.
When he started high school, he noticed something was missing.
“There was no safe space for queer-identifying people. There was no safe space to talk about racism or other events globally,” Gonzalez said.
With a desire to create that safe space for the other students at his high school, Gonzalez, along with several other classmates, joined forces to create the Equality League. They were essentially a group of students who looked to bring awareness to issues affecting their communities.
Growing up in the South Bronx and experiencing a lot of the issues of systemic racism first hand is what helped shape his politics, and thus shaped his desire to fight for the betterment of his community, Gonzalez said.
“To my black students, I want us to keep on doing the necessary readings, relating our lived experiences to revolutionaries, and to theorists, and to academics, and to scholars of the work,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez acknowledges that the issues our country faces require more than just one person, but he says his work is the right start.