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“Hands Up” concert to honor victims of police brutality

One Feb. 26, a hip-hop concert to spread awareness about police brutality will take place in the Ballroom of the Erb Memorial Union at 7:30 p.m. The concert is presented by the Black Student Union of the University of Oregon and will honor the lives of victims affected by police brutality.

The event is open to all ages and admission is free, though a donation of $3 is suggested. Free food will also be provided, along with raffles in which you can win tickets to a concert at WOW Hall, T-shirts donated by the Civil Liberties Defense Center and other donated items from sponsors.

“I hope everyone comes excited to hear and with an open mind,” said Jessica Brown, co-director of the Black Student Union.

The mastermind behind this whole event, said Brown, was Desmond Harvey, who is a DJ for KWVA. He came to Brown with the idea for a concert and wanted to collaborate with a student organization. Harvey was able to track down a lot of the artists who will be performing on Thursday night.

“We’ve really been trying to outsource artists to pull people in, but get people on campus in our community involved too,” said Brown. “We want to make this a people issue, not just a black people issue.”

The concert will include work by at least 10 different artists and will be hosted by local DJ Connah Jay. The show’s headliner is the popular Portland rapper Mic Crenshaw, who also works as a human rights activist. Crenshaw is known for his power on stage and breathing “life and energy into his performance,” Brown says.

Other performances will include rappers and DJs from Seattle and Eugene, as well as dance by the Duck Street Dance Club and live painting by artist Kauz.

While deciding the concert’s lineup, Brown, Harvey and other organizers of the event looked for artists who people would want to see and who also had something to say about the issue of police brutality.

Rather than debating about this tough issue over social media, Brown hopes that the concert sends a message: “Please understand how I’m feeling.”

“I hope people will leave with a better understanding of the effects that police brutality has on our community and how we view it as a community,” Brown said.

Explicit content at this event is to be expected as artists will be expressing what is often an emotional and politically charged topic. But, overall, the Black Student Union wants this to be a safe and welcoming event to the entire community.

Follow Lindsay McWilliams on Twitter @lindsaymacwill

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Lindsay McWilliams

Lindsay McWilliams