A few weeks ago, a group of racially mixed students at Wilcox County High School in Georgia began to organize their first integrated prom. Yesterday, one of the organizers, Mareishia Rucker, 17, told The Root that historically the school holds two private off-campus proms (one for blacks and another for whites). Now, both black and white classmates are contributing to organizing and fundraising.
Rucker also told to The Root “I don’t take well to things that aren’t right. You don’t have to love me, but you have to respect me.” She continued “As far as our county goes, the reality is, racism runs deep.”
Last week, Better Georgia, a progressive group, asked Georgia state’s governor, Nathan Deal to speak out in favor of the integrated prom. Deal, who is Republican, issued a response through his spokesman stating “This is a leftist front group for the state Democratic party, and we’re not going to lend a hand to their silly publicity stunt.”
According to AJC, Deal later stated “I believe that anything that’s associated with a school should not have the distinction or discrimination made based on race or gender or any other separation,” he continued, “But it appears to me that parents and students have worked that out on their own, as they should.”
The students and parents have done just that. So far the organizers’ Facebook fan page, Integrated Prom, has received 23,447 likes and the students are continuing to take donations through it. They have also conducted a plate sale, where they sell plates of food in order to fundraise. It is unknown the total amount of funds raised but according to Rucker, the students donated $900 towards two families whose houses. were burned down in Georgia. Their prom is scheduled to take place on April 27th.