Certainly by now you have heard of the Dream Defenders, the product of some 60 students of color who organized a march in response to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012.

Recently Phillip Agnew, the executive director of the Dream Defenders, an organization led by youth of color, has issued a call to action to all Rattlers.

Agnew took the stage of Gaither Gymnasium in Tallahassee, Florida for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation at Florida A&M University and from the beginning he was set upon igniting students to rise up to the cause against social injustice in Black communities in the country.

“My question to you is, when will you answer the call?” said Agnew, who is a 2008 graduate of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry.

He added, “When will you declare that we will not go quietly into the night? When will you rise up for the youngest of these, the most innocent of these? The time is now.”

In his speech Agnew charged all Rattlers, young and old, to embrace the winds of change and begin to build on something new: “It’s time to rise up. It’s time to strike, strike and strike again,” Agnew said.

In addition, he stated that there is so much more work that still needs to be done and the students at FAMU, and elsewhere are able to do it, and expressed his feelings of gratitude towards FAMU and the Black college experience.

“It was here [at FAMU], it was here, and it was here that I discovered I had to fight back. If I can do only one thing this morning, I want to tell you it’s time to fight back,” Agnew said.


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