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Beacon Hill to hold ‘Salute to Students’ event on Sunday

Decatur

Beacon Hill to hold ‘Salute to Students’ event on Sunday

Protestors stopped in front of Decatur High School as they marched through the city during a peaceful demonstration sponsored by the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights June 7. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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This story has been updated. 

Decatur, GA — On Sunday, June 28, Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights will hold a “Salute to Students” event in Decatur Square to celebrate students who helped to organize around the removal of the Confederate monument and “take down hate in Decatur.”

The event will take place at 2 p.m., according to a Facebook post from the organizers. Beacon Hill asks that attendees wear masks.

A number of students from Decatur High School, including members of the Black Student Union, have been involved in activism and organizing since at least last year, when they met with legislators at the Georgia Capitol. More recently, racist incidents at the high school have sparked protests and organizing in support of anti-racist education in City Schools of Decatur.

Here is the full press release about the event:

Decatur, GA – In recognition of the years of work and dedication by local youth in the efforts to remove the Decatur Confederate monument, Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights will host a “Salute to the Students who Helped Take Down Hate in Decatur.” The event will take place on Sunday, June 28 at 2pm at the location where the Confederate monument once stood (101 E. Court Square).

Youth and students, including members of the Decatur High School Black Student Union and the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, have been at the forefront of efforts to remove this white supremacist symbol since the beginning. In September 2017, youth led the first “Nothing Great About Hate” march demanding removal of the monument. In October 2017, a community teach-in with historians was held in Decatur to educate the community about the true history of the Confederate monument, leading to a resolution passed by the DeKalb County Commission to find a way to remove or relocate the monument. When County officials failed to act, youth again led in the May 2018 “Off the Square” rally outside the historic DeKalb Courthouse to call for the monument’s removal.

In January 2019, State Representatives and Senators, including Rep. Renitta Shannon and Sen. Elena Parent, filed bills to ban the use of public money or property to display Confederate monuments and to allow local governments to remove Confederate monuments. Our students, accompanied by members of the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, met with legislators at the Capitol on Crossover Day in February 2019 to support these bills and in opposition to Senate Bill 77, which strengthened protections for these white supremacist monuments. Undeterred, these young people kept up the fight, culminating in the ultimate removal of the Decatur Confederate monument on June 18, 2020.

The dedication and vision of these young people is worthy of honor and praise. Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights will celebrate their victory at a public gathering on Sunday, June 28 at 2pm in Decatur Square. All those students and young people who rallied, marched, lobbied, and supported the removal of the monument are invited. Community members are invited to attend to show support for this generation who are building on this success to move our society towards a more just, equitable future.

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