TUCSON, Ariz. — In less than two days, over 1,400 people have signed an online petition for The University of Arizona to establish a "George Floyd Memorial Scholarship."
Dorthea Stephenson, a sophomore at the school, says she started the petition after watching Thursday's memorial service for George Floyd. During the service, the president of North Central University in Minneapolis challenged every university in the nation to set up a scholarship fund in memory of Floyd.
"I think the University of Arizona has a long history of saying they'll implement change, but no one holds them accountable," says Stephenson.
She says setting up this scholarship would give the university a way to support Black students. Adding that she hopes it would be used to help cover tuition for Black students.
Wednesday, UArizona President Robert Robbins released a statement in response to Floyd's death.
"This difficult period will not define who we are, but our collective response to it will. I remain committed to advancing equity and justice on our campus and in our community," says Robbins in the statement.
Stephenson says starting this scholarship fund, would show the university putting action behind those words.
She set a personal goal of getting 5,000 signatures on the online petition.
Protests, marches and celebrations supporting Black Lives Matter and following the death of Floyd have been taking place on the UArizona campus all week.
Floyd was a Black man who was killed by police officers in Minneapolis. His death has sparked protests and discussions about police accountability and racism across the nation.
Originally posted to KGUN9 June 6, 2020.
Aubrey Gelpieryn is a journalist currently in New York. She enjoys writing about music, politics and current events.