HBCUs' Role In Holding Banks Accountable

by Reamonn Soto

As a senior at Florida A & M University, I have seen firsthand the tradition of students taking social action on issues that includes voter registration, rallies on the injustices of the Martin Lee Anderson vs. the State of Florida, marches to the polls doing historic elections, and Occupy Tallahassee protests. Florida A & M has a history of students getting involved that stretches back to the 50’s and 60’s doing times of social unrest and change in the nation.

The students of Florida A&M University were an integral in sparking a boycott of the buses in Tallahassee that successfully staged integrated the city’s public transportation.  As a result of their courage and determination, the students of Florida A&M University established a legacy of social involvement and responsibility as a part of the collegiate experience for future generations of Rattlers.

Student have once again, geared up for not only social action, but economic action as they partnered with movements that includes Occupy Tallahassee, Student Government Associations and civic organizations in an effort to divest from big corporate banks who take our money and send it to other communities at our expense, rather than keep the dollars within our own communities safely invested into community revitalization projects around our campus.

The neighborhoods that surround are campus have deteriorated, whereas, families who have been in their homes for 20 to 30 years can’t get a loan from the bank to fix up their properties, allowing the values of not only the homes to depreciate, but the community as a whole. An addition, local schools are appropriated funds based on the property values of the homes in the surrounding area, if the home values are dropping, so are the schools and quality of grocery stores surrounding these areas.

From time to time, a generation is once again called to action. It’s the time again, and students on the campus of Florida A & M University have once again answered that call. Students have become more aware of the economic inequalities, and are taking action. On November 7, 2011, students begun storming the campus and Tallahassee community, building more awareness of bank transfer day, that will continue happening not only in Tallahassee, Florida, but across the country.

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