AUGUST 31, 2015: THE HIJACKING OF #THEHOTTESTCOLLEGEINAMERICA
On August 31, over 250 posts flooded the feeds of President Ono and the hashtag #hottestcollegeinamerica. The posts stated our unity statement: "We, the black leadership at the University of Cincinnati, stand in solidarity with each other and the greater community in a demand for change on this campus effective immediately. To the family of Samuel Dubose we offer our support, our prayers, and deepest condolences. To the black students here at UC, we offer empowerment and our commitment to ensure the inclusion of and safety of black students on this campus. To the community we offer our service, our resources, and a bridge into the University of Cincinnati. To UC, we do not offer, but we DEMAND reform. There are no interactive spaces, no “encouraged reflections”, no additions of appointed positions, or issued statements that could make us forget or forgive the July 19th shooting of Samuel Dubose nor the previous killings of unarmed black individuals by the University of Cincinnati Police Department. UC, your efforts, while hopeful, are not enough. We demand your attention and we demand that you acknowledge publicly that #blacklivesmatter, because we black students are under fire here at the #hottestcollegeinamerica."
SEPTEMBER 1, 2015: ALLOW US TO INTRODUCE OURSELVES...
What is the IRATE 8?
The name "The IRATE 8" stems from two things: the fact that black students comprise 8% of UC and the frustration we have about our quality of life on this campus. On Monday, August 31st we took to social media to post our Unity Statement. In a little over 3 hours 240+ posts of our Unity Statement were posted to Instagram. We tagged Ono in the hopes that he would solidify the fact that black lives indeed, do matter.
Okay he said it, now what?
Now we make our campus reflect that statement. If UC truly believes that black lives matter, then why have multiple unarmed black individuals been killed by the University of Cincinnati Police Department? Why have the two officers who corroborated Ray Tensing's lies not been fired? Why are the retention and graduation rates lowest for black males and females on this campus? Why could a tenured faculty member put up racist cartoons of the Dean of McMicken A&S (who was black) and not get fired? Why is funding so scarce for initiatives and offices that directly support the black student population? Why is there such a large disparity in the percentage of black individuals in Cincinnati and the percentage of black student at UC? UC believes in practicing "Just Community" in which we should strive to: Accept Responsibility, Celebrate Uniqueness of Each Individual, Embrace Freedom and Openness, Practice Civility, Promote Justice, Pursue Learning, Seek Integrity, and Strive for Excellence. UC's practices do not match what we preach. The IRATE 8 strives to obtain this "Just Community" by diminishing the disparities we see on this campus.
Why did you attack President Ono?
Attack? President Ono did not sustain any injuries from our social media blast. However, Sam Dubose (and others) suffered tremendous "injuries" - the loss of their lives - due to poor practices at UC. President Ono did not shoot Sam Dubose, and he is not responsible for all of the practices and decisions at UC. However, gaining his attention is a direct and effective way to get in touch with other powerful people at UC who can help us generate reform.
Stay tuned. The IRATE 8 has a lot in store for our campus. Our social media movements will continue throughout the month. We will then present a formal and comprehensive list of areas that need reform and methods to obtain those changes. This will be presented to the public as well as administration. Lastly, a programmatic week will also ensue to promote education, understanding, and healing from the incidents that led to this movement.
SEPTEMBER 2, 2015: NOW THAT WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION...
On September 2, Instagram and Twitter were flooded with pictures of students holding various signs reflecting the general sentiments of #theIRATE8
SEPTEMBER 3, 2015: UNDERSTANDING OUR GRIEVANCES
SEPTEMBER 8, 2015: ASK US ANYTHING ANONYMOUSLY
We understand that talking about race can be uncomfortable. Anything you would like to know about our movement we invite you to ask anonymously. To ask questions or to see our response, click here.
SEPTEMBER 9, 2015: YOU ASKED, WE ANSWERED
Check out some our responses from the anonymously asked questions:
I understand the movement, and I would like to support TheIrate8. But where do you think the line will be drawn as far as asking for Prez Ono's support vs. straight up disrespecting the president of our institution? I feel like WE could have a more respectful approach to administration
Many have suggested we find alternative and respectful methods of approaching administration. However, the people making these suggestions do not see behind the scenes. For years, we have made numerous humble approaches to administration. We have been ignored, passed over, and just given the "okie-doke". It was time for an alternative strategy: to put pressure on the University from a PR perspective. It is easy to be overlooked or ignored when only a few people in a small board room can hold each other accountable. However, it is harder to ignore a situation when hundreds of people are watching and waiting.
As you can see from President Ono's recent posts on Instagram, and his communication with us (which you cannot see), we are supported by him. The line was drawn pretty crisply. We showed strength, we showed unity, we showed our passion, but we did not exhibit disrespect. President Ono was not called out of his name, his character was not attacked, nor his family, his position, his livelihood, or his appearance. That would have been disrespectful if we had done any of these things. We simply called for attention. However, this time we did not whisper, we shouted. As you can see from the video we circulated the following day, we love President Ono and this University. If you visit our website www.theirate8.com you will see in the video our response to the questions: “Do you hate President Ono?” and "Do you hate UC". We do not hate either, and we do not aim to attack him either, only promote growth. Dr. Ono's social media was chosen as the person to direct our aims at because most other big decision makers at UC are not on social media and would not be affected or likely even know if a social media movement was happening. However, Dr. Ono is tapped into social media and can relay our message.
I'm an African American senior and I really want to attend UC for Nursing, but after hearing about the Irate8, I'm second guessing. Should I still attend UC?
Absolutely. UC is an amazing school with fantastic programs. Our nursing school ranks nearly top 50 in the nation, and our online nursing programs are top 10 in the nation. #theIRATE8 could have chosen to go to other schools with higher percentages of black students or even HBCUs. However, the first and foremost reason we are here is for our education. When 6 year-old Ruby Bridges laced up her shoes the morning she went to school, she knew what she was up against. She was going to be the first black student at an all white school. Protestors and white families lined the streets for miles and shouted at and threw things at her. One woman even brought a small wooden coffin with a black baby-doll in it. However, with her head held high, Ruby went to school. Because we ALL deserve the privilege of a quality education. Ruby did, and you do too.
SEPTEMBER 9, 2015: LET US HELP YOU SEE
SEPTEMBER 14, 2015: THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF SAM DUBOSE WEEK
An announcement of Samuel Dubose Week at UC and the Programs that would take place during the week:
Monday, September 21: Sam Dubose Forum
6:30-8:30pm in the TUC Cinema (TUC Room 220)
This forum will highlight the timeline of UC's statements, actions, and programmatic responses from July 19th to present. We will give a detailed, informative background that will set the stage for the entire Samuel Dubose Week, as well as create a safe space where individuals can share their personal reactions to the ways that UC responded to the Samuel Dubose Murder.
Tuesday, September 22: Privilege Walk
4-6pm in TUC Great Hall
What is privilege? Do you have privilege? How much privilege do you have? Are you aware of what types of privilege others have? What do you do with your privilege? This interactive program will answer all of these questions. This privilege walk will be an interactive activity where you can find out a lot about yourself and your peers, as well as how to bridge the disparities that exist between individuals on this campus. Be ready for a presentation, activities, and discussions!
Wednesday, September 23: Ribbon Day and Special Performance
All day w/ Special Performance on MainStreet at 1pm
Today, we will be wearing ribbons in remembrance of Samuel Dubose as well as others who died in police custody or were killed as a result of excessive force. The ribbons serve as a symbol of solidarity, awareness, and protest against police brutality and its increase across our nation. The ribbons are red and black. Red to represent the blood shed in senseless killings and black for the completely preventable loss of black lives. These ribbons can be retrieved at our Monday and Tuesday programs or on Mainstreet from 1230-130pm. Additionally, there will be a surprise performance on Mainstreet at 1pm sharp. The performance will be short but powerful... so if you want to catch it be on time!
Thursday, September 24: Know Your Rights Q&A
6-8pm in TUC 400C
This discussion will open with presentations concerning the rights you have as an individual, how to interact with police officers, and what is the right protocol for both civilians and police officers during a traffic stop. Additionally, there will be a panel present to answer questions from the audience about safety, policing, the Sam Dubose tragedy, and more. The panel is representative of both the Greater Cincinnati community as well as the University of Cincinnati community. Our panelists include: Dr. Robin Engel, Cincinnati Police Captain Aaron Jones, UC Police Chief Jason Goodrich, Brittany Collins (of the Municipal Division of Hamilton Country Public Defender), Latoya Maley (of the Municipal Division of Hamilton Country Public Defender), and Officer Terrance Forte. Additionally, from 9am-5pm there will be a surprise art installation. Be sure to walk through and check it out.
Friday, September 25: Fish Fryday Fundraiser
3-6pm on McMicken Commons
The United Black Student Association (UBSA) and UC's National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) are collaborating to put on the biggest Fish Fryday yet! This Fish Fryday will have performances from UC performing groups such as UC Junoon and Black Arts Collaborative. DJ Stone will be providing music. Of course, our delicious fish dinners will be served for the prices of $7 (two-piece) and $9 (three-piece). The dinners include 2-3 pieces of fried fish, french fries, bread, and a drink. A percentage of all of our proceeds will be going to the GoFundMe fundraiser page for Samuel Duboses's family.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2015: SAM DUBOSE FORUM
This forum highlighted the timeline of UC's statements, actions, and programmatic responses from July 19th to present. We will gave a detailed, informative background that set the stage for the entire Sam Dubose Week, as well as created a safe space where individuals could share their personal reactions to the ways that UC responded to the Samuel Dubose Murder. Photos are below. The presentation slides that we used can be found here.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2015: THE PRIVILEGE WALK
What is privilege? Do you have privilege? How much privilege do you have? Are you aware of what types of privilege others have? What do you do with your privilege? These are some of the questions we answered with this program. Brice Mickey from RAPP and Shaqualla Hurley led the presentation and facilitated the discussion in this deep and sometimes intense activity. Here you can find some of the questions that were asked during the walk, below are photos.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2015: A DAY OF SOLIDARITY
On Wednesday, September 23, over 1000 red and black ribbons were distributed for individuals to wear in remembrance of Samuel Dubose as well as others who died in police custody or were killed as a result of excessive force. The ribbons served as a symbol of solidarity, awareness, and protest against police brutality and its increase across our nation. The ribbons were red and black. Red to represent the blood shed in senseless killings and black for the completely preventable loss of black lives. There was also a surprise performance on Mainstreet from UC's Black Arts Collaborative. The powerful performance included dance and spoken word. Find photos below.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2015: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS PROGRAM
This discussion opened with presentations concerning the rights people have as individuals, how to interact with police officers, and what is the right protocol for both civilians and police officers during a traffic stop. Additionally, there was a panel present to answer questions from the audience about safety, policing, the Sam Dubose tragedy, and more. The panel was representative of both the Greater Cincinnati community as well as the University of Cincinnati community. Our panelists included: Dr. Robin Engel, Cincinnati Police Captain Aaron Jones, UC Police Chief Jason Goodrich, Brittany Collins (of the Municipal Division of Hamilton Country Public Defender), Latoya Maley (of the Municipal Division of Hamilton Country Public Defender), and Officer Terrance Forte.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2015: FISH FRYDAY FUNDRAISER
The United Black Student Association (UBSA) and UC's National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) collaborated to put on the biggest Fish Fryday at UC ever! This Fish Fryday had performances from UC performing groups such as UC Junoon and Black Arts Collaborative. DJ Stone provided music. Of course, our delicious fish dinners were served as well. From the profits of this Fish Fry we were able to make a significant donation to Sam Dubose's GoFundMe.
OCTOBER 6, 2015: THE IRATE 8 HOSTS A TEACH-IN
On October 6, the Irate 8 in partnership with many UC departments and offices hosted the Teach-In. The Teach-In consisted of 25 sessions taught by a specific UC faculty or staff. The sessions were in repeating 20 minute sessions so that students could rotate to other sessions that interested them. Sessions were about oppression, internalized racism, privilege, slavery, diversity, inclusion, access, and more. Below find photos, the Teach-In flyer, as well as some of the curriculum.
Click the link above to view the Irate 8 Syllabus. It was crowd-sourced by faculty and staff at UC and includes articles, videos, and books on everything from Critical Race Theory to Political Ecologies of Race to Intersectionality.
OCTOBER 15, 2015: THE IRATE 8 PRESENTS A LIST OF 10 DEMANDS TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI
On Thursday, October 15, at 12:00pm The Irate 8 presented a list of demands to the University of Cincinnati.
OCTOBER 28, 2015: THE IRATE 8 RECEIVES RESPONSES FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI AND STUDENT GOVERNMENT
On Wednesday, October 28th, at 2:56pm The University of Cincinnati presented a response to The Irate 8.
On Wednesday, October 28th, at 11:21am Student Government presented a response to The Irate 8.
OCTOBER 29, 2015: THE IRATE 8 RESPONDS TO UC
NOVEMBER 5, 2015: THE IRATE 8 HOSTS A FORUM
On November 5, The Irate 8 hosted a Forum where questions about the movement's motives, goals, missions, etc. could be posed (anonymously or candidly).
NOVEMBER 9, 2015: SIGN THE PETITION TO SUPPORT THE IRATE 8
On November 9 a petition was circulated in support of the Irate 8. It garnered over 900 signatures.
- 2016 -
FEBRUARY 6, 2016: THE IRATE 8 RECEIVES A NATIONAL AWARD
The Irate 8 was named the recipient of the Undergraduate Social Action Award from Sociologists for Women in Society. It was presented to the Irate 8 at the SWS Annual Conference at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.
APRIL 2016: THE IRATE 8 RECEIVES THE SPIRIT OF CINCINNATUS AWARD
The Irate 8 was named the recipient of the Spirit of Cincinnatus Award by the Cincinnatus Honorary Society.
JULY 19, 2016: THE IRATE 8 + SAM DAY
In observance of the one year anniversary of Sam Dubose's death, The Irate 8 teamed up with the family of Sam Dubose and Black Lives Matter Cincinnati for Sam Day. Sam Day was a march, rally, and cookout. The march started at Classon Park, we marched to the site of his death, and then returned to Inwood Park for food and music.
OCTOBER 19, 2016: UC ANNOUNCES CHANGES AS RESULT OF IRATE 8
On September 2, Instagram and Twitter were flooded with pictures of students holding various signs reflecting the general sentiments of #theIRATE8
OCTOBER 24, 2016: THE IRATE 8 HOSTS ACTIVISM BOOTCAMP
The Irate 8 aims to bring about a more just, diverse, and inclusive UC. However, we are a Black-centered movement. We offered an activism bootcamp for any other marginalized groups, allies, or students from other universities who were interested in the cogs and interworking of our movements, with steps to formulate their own endeavors.
OCTOBER 28, 2016: THE IRATE 8 PRESENTS AT A HIGHER ED CONFERENCE
The Irate 8 presented at the Ohio Consortium of Multicultural Centers in Higher Education Symposium. The title of our session was "Student Activism or Proactive Measure to Create Institutional Change.
OCTOBER 31, 2016: THE RAY TENSING TRIAL BEGINS
On this date, the Tensing trial began.
NOVEMBER 12, 2016: TRIAL OF RAY TENSING RESULTS IN A HUNG JURY
NOVEMBER 16, 2016: THE IRATE 8 PUSHES FOR A RETRIAL
NOVEMBER 22, 2016: A RETRIAL IS ANNOUNCED
It is announced by Deters that Ray Tensing will be retried for murder.
- 2017 -
JANUARY 10, 2017: THE EXPANDED AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL AND RESOURCE CENTER IS REVEALED
As a result of the demands of the Irate 8, the African American Cultural and Resource Center received an expansion including a kitchenette, a student lounge, and a study area with computers.
JANUARY 14, 2017: THE IRATE 8 PRESENTS A $500 SCHOLARSHIP
The Irate 8 Scholarship was awarded to Mindy Bediako in the amount of $500. It was presented at the 18th Annual Red, Black Green, and Gold Ball during Kuamka Week.
APRIL 26, 2017: THE IRATE 8 RECEIVES THE LEISAN SMITH FOUNDER AWARD
- 2018 -
MARCH 22, 2018: UC ANNOUNCES POLICE GRIEVANCE RESOLUTION
The University states that it has resolved the contractual grievance brought by Ray Tensing regarding his termination in July 2015. He received $244, 430 in back pay and benefits that have accrued since his termination, and legal fees of $100,000 were also paid.
MARCH 28, 2018: THE HIJACKING OF #NEXTLIVESHERE
On March 28, over 120 posts flooded the feeds of President Pinto and the hashtag #nextliveshere. The posts stated our statement: "Dear UC Community, the tragic loss of Samuel Dubose in July 2015 was a trying time in the life of our University. Our community came together to mourn, listen, support, heal, and hope. That work continues as we strive to live our values into "action". Thanks to the ongoing contributions of The Irate 8, we are making meaningful progress within the University of Cincinnati community by advancing initiatives in disapproval of the University's recent statement titled "Police Grievance Resolution". We want to inform you that at the University of Cincinnati; Money Matters...but so do I. It has come to our attention via mass email that the recent resolution of Ray Tensing's contractual grievance supports the murder of an unarmed black man. The bak pay, benefits, and waivered legal fees have not only mocked our community, but has reaffirmed our initial distrust and feelings of unsafety from our institution. UC, your efforts, while hopeful, are not enough. We demand your attention, we demand a seat at the table, and we demand that you advance and acknowledge the continued efforts of THE IRATE 8. We, the black students, are nevertheless hopeful that we can can continue to focus on supporting each other as members of the same Bearcat family - especially being that we DON'T agree. That culture of care is what our community not only needs but also deserves. It starts with each of us. #NEXTLIVESHERE, but how can there be a next if we're not appreciated now."