Approximately 1,000 Emerson College students, faculty, staff, and alumni celebrated inclusion and safe communities by marching in support of the ArtsEmerson presentation of The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project 10 Years Later Saturday, October 2.
Emerson students coordinated the march in response to threats of a potential protest from a group known for its intolerant and hateful messages. The group was scheduled to protest the Tectonic Theater Project’s performances of The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project 10 Years Later at Emerson’s Cutler Majestic Theatre.
The Laramie Project chronicles the reaction to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. The play draws on interviews with residents of Laramie conducted by the theatre company and published news reports.
Wearing rainbow–colored angel wings and carrying signs that preached tolerance and gay rights, the Emersonians walked peacefully around the Boston Common and Public Garden cheering. They chanted, “Love is louder” a slogan coined by MTV, actress Brittany Snow, and the Jed Foundation to help spread messages of love and tolerance.
MTV, Snow, and the Jed Foundation, started the Love is Louder campaign after the recent teen suicides linked to anti-gay bullying — specifically, the death of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. They have partnered with DoSomething.org, the Trevor Project, Reach Out, Active Minds and the Ad Council, to address these issues.
Many Emersonians who could not attend the march took to social media to show their support. On Twitter @MYFOODTHOUGHTS said, “so proud of my alma mater, Emerson College, for @loveislouder.” and @BostonBookGirl said, “proud to have gone to @emersoncollege! Emerson College Students Announce 'Love Is Louder' At Rally.”