A Howard University student is receiving national recognition for her activism on campus.
Channing Hill helped lead the takeover of the Blackburn University Center last fall as students protested poor housing conditions on campus.
This weekend the 20-year-old Texas native will receive the NAACP Image Award for youth activist of the year.
“It means I was doing something right,” Hill said.
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“You had the administration, who wondered why we were doing what we were doing,” she said. “And on the other hand, you had students who were so grateful that somebody decided to be a voice for them.”
Hill was among the students who abandoned the dorms and stayed at Blackburn for 34 days.
“If we weren’t writing statements or press releases … we were organizing amongst ourselves and what exactly we wanted to see,” Hill said.
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Their complaints about housing included rats and mold.
“All of the people I look up to, I look up to them because they’re audacious,” Hill said. “It is my responsibility to be just as audacious as they were.”
Hill said she believes the takeover of Blackburn made a difference.
“The increased scrutiny on the school made me feel safer,” she said.
But more improvements can be made, she said.
“The dorms flooded last week,” Hill said. “We have much more to accomplish. We deserve first-class housing conditions.”
“I think students have learned that they have nothing to fear, that if they use their voice they will be protected and supported,” she said.
Hill said the Image Award isn’t just for her.
“Howard University, HBCU students, Black students who continue to struggle and fight for equal access and accessibility to higher education,” she said.
Hill plans to go to law school, and Howard Law is at the top of her list.
She will accept her Image Award Saturday in Los Angeles.
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