NIU women’s basketball unites against racism


Patrick Murphy | Northern Star

DeKalb community members and NIU students and staff paint “Black Lives Matter” Thursday on Castle Drive.

By Kyle Mathas

DeKALB — The NIU women’s basketball team sent out a statement Sept. 21 advocating for unity and justice after the racist incident at the Center for Black Studies.

NIU was hit with a racist incident Sept. 17 at the Center for Black Studies, where a racist expression was spray painted on the building overnight.

“That incident was pretty disturbing.” women’s basketball Head Coach Lisa Carlson said. “It shines light on the things that we have to continue to fight for.

After the incident at the Center for Black Studies, the women’s basketball team sent out a statement on its Twitter regarding the incident. In the statement, the women’s basketball team wrote it stands with the Black community and is committed to continually pursuing anti-racism. 

“We’re committed to imploring everyone, in our NIU community and beyond, to prioritize anti-racism and to work for a just reality,” the women’s basketball team wrote. “Because today, and every day, BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

The women’s basketball team has been joining and leading events to help fight racism and support the Black Lives Matter movement.

After the statement was released, the players helped paint the street on Castle Drive during the Art and Soul Black Lives Matter Street Painting event. 

The women’s basketball team continued to show their support by, “marching for UNITY to embrace humanity and work towards inclusivity, equity, equality, and love,” according to their twitter. 

At the Student-Athlete Unity Rally on Oct. 10, redshirt junior guard Janae Poisson and redshirt senior guard Paulina Castro both gave speeches at that event, according to their twitter. 

“These events have been a good way to help our athletes grow closer. It helps our athletes see the different struggles of other people,” Carlson said. “Our team should be facilitators for not letting this movement dissipate. I think it is our responsibility to use our platform as a way to keep this movement at the forefront.”

The team will be putting the movement at the forefront of everybody’s minds this season, Carlson said. 

“We want to be as well-versed and educational on everything pertaining to social justice as we can,” Carlson said. “That’s how we want to show support throughout the season.”