Social justice leader Tamika Mallory shared with N.C. Central University faculty, staff, students, and members of the public why she began to take activism seriously after a major tragedy happened in her life in B.N. Duke Auditorium for the first Rock the Lyceum lecture series of the year on Jan. 22.
“For me, when my son’s father was murdered –my son is twenty now, so at (age) two. Eighteen years ago his father was shot twice, and he was left in a ditch for two weeks before he was discovered, and when that happened, it was like ‘oh that’s what they’ve been talking about. It just all clicked for me,” said Mallory.
The event began with a spoken word piece by Bronx rapper Mysonne followed by Mallory joining the stage with senior mass communication student Quishauna McDougle.
Mallory became a member of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network at age 11 to learn more about the civil rights movement and was the youngest executive director.
Now president of Mallory Consulting, a strategic planning and event management firm. Mallory states that she was forced to participate in the rallies and anything else her parents were attending, although she was thinking of other things she could be doing.
Mallory went on to discuss the 2020 Women’s March on Washington. Initially, she got a call to be involved, but she did not want to be an event planner for the march, she wanted to lead it.
The guests at the March were Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, a woman who did twenty-seven years in prison who committed her crime, Lucia Kay McBath, congresswoman McBath who made the decision that day to run, and transgender woman were all present.
Mallory stated with emphasis, “because they need a voice too.”
Following the Women’s March On Washington, Mallory and partners held the first women’s convention in 40 years with Maxine Waters.
Although the Women’s March On Washington came with a lot of highs, it also came with a lot of lows. Following the March, Mallory decided to resign.
“I will always respect the brothers and sisters within the nation who have done the most work to protect our community. There is no other organization that has been in our communities and has had the abilities to turn the lives of young men and women around the way that we’ve seen there under the leadership of Minister Louis Farrakhan, and that’s just the reality,” Mallory said as the crowd applauded.
Mallory’s aunt’s joined the audience and applauded at her decision to take the latter and to continue to serve as an advocate for what she believes.
Mallory said that she uses her experience and platform to educate students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, telling them to pay closer attention to the world around them.
She has begun to speak at more HBCU’s, but has lost many speaking engagements at predominately white institutions because of controversial topics she discusses.
Mallory went in-depth about her stance on healthcare.
“First of all my stance is that I think we need Medicare for All, so that’s my political stance. I think we have to put black women in our health concerns first,” she said.
The event was hosted by NCCU’s Student Engagement and Leadership. The next Rock the Lyceum lecture series will be Feb. 19 featuring American fashion designer Dapper Dan at 7 p.m. in B.N. Duke Auditorium.