SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A controversial topic sparked outrage over an Upstate college’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event.
It featured the topic “Black Lives Matter”, and some alumni spoke out against it the event co-hosted by both Wofford and Converse colleges.
The administration at Wofford defended the event saying it was right in line with their goal for a liberal arts conversation.
“Black Lives Matter is a group of individuals, both nationally, and internationally, who care about advancing the civil rights of black and brown people all across this country,” said Derrick Quarles, the founder of “Upstate Black Lives Matter.”
However, the topic and speaker for the event on January 11 called “Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter, understanding the political protests in America and examining the racial inequalities” didn’t set well with alumni.
A few took to social media and even called the school to tell the administration about their displeasure with it. 7 News did try reaching out to some of alumni about their specific concerns but have not received a response yet.
“They wanted to know more about it, and we absolutely want to hear from our alums,” said Annie Mitchell, the Vice President of Marketing and Communication at Wofford.
The administration says it’s important their students have these conversations.
“We want our students to be exposed to all different points of view,” Mitchell said. “We want them to be challenged. We want them to hear different things.”
Mitchell also added that the college hosted now President Trump on campus in November of 2015.
“Colleges and universities across the country have a responsibility to their communities to really open up dialogue and really be a place where people can come together in engaged, thoughtful, sometimes provocative conversations,” Mitchell said.
As for Quarles, he says it’s the conversations that fosters understanding.
“We’re not anti-police, and we’re not anti any other thing except anti-racism,” Quarles said.
Quarles says he’s been invited back to both campuses to speak on the topic again, and Wofford administration says they still plan on hosting similar events in the future.