Following the boom of protests for social causes, a group of students formed the Movement Against Racism At Keller or MARK. Founder, senior Parker Sutliff alongside with Junior Sudheshna Khadka worked during the Summer of 2020 to form MARK in an attempt to work with the school to combat racism amongst the district.
“At the end of the day, we wanted to give students a place to feel safe and do something without the flashy, performative bits-we’re all just here together and people do what they can to help,” Sutliff said.
Although the organization is still in its early stages of development, the group has big plans for its future. As of now, the organization currently has 5 committees: elementary outreach, advertising, communications, KISD policy, and education-with each committee in charge of their respective sectors to keep things running smoothly.
“One of our goals is to be able to eventually work with the schools for the younger kids so that they can realize that racism is taught,” senior Henry Hernandez said.
The MARK organization led a series of protests over Spring Break off of Heritage Trace Parkway in response to the drastic increase in Asian hate crimes this year, some of which taking place as blame for the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the origin of the virus.
What was once rude, passing remarks have escalated to mass shootings, targeting Asian citizens. On March 16, 2021, a series of mass shootings occurred at three spas or massage parlors in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Eight people were killed, six of whom were Asian women, and one other person was wounded. The suspect Robert Aaron Long had been previously treated for sex addiction, which was suspected as a key motive to the shooting.
The increased racism toward Asian people of color hasn’t been an underground thing, either-with former President Donald Trump referring to COVID as the “china virus” and many others calling it the “Kung flu”, the pandemic has now become an outlet for racism in ways that were previously unexplored.
“These protests were the product of years of racism, that just finally had an outlet to be highlighted,” Sudheshna Khadka said.