RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – At just 19 years old, a UNC-Chapel Hill student became a key figure in the peaceful fight against social injustice. Greear Webb has some enthusiastic answers on how to create a better community and an even greater sense of humanity.
Webb has been the campus voice of the Tar Heels during these trying times. Protests began in Chapel Hill in light of George Floyd’s death.
“I think here in North Carolina, but specifically Chapel Hill ,amongst young people and amongst students, it really started after the George Floyd incident. The horrific and public murder of George Floyd, and then everything that culminated after that,” Webb said.
“We want to do something about this. We want to make sure that our voices are heard and that our leaders in the nation and that our leaders in North Carolina are really hearing the voices of young students saying enough is enough and this is wrong. And that culminated in the 3,000 strong march in Raleigh on May 30 where young people from around the state, along with other members of the community, really came together and said, ‘We’re going to put action to what we’re feeling and thinking.'”
Webb said there’s a sense of frustration among his peers.
“This is our future that we’re talking about. And so, when young people are protesting or voting advocating for change, it’s really because we want to see a better future,” he said. “We want to be given opportunity. We really want to see that shared humanity that we know is out there.”
Groups like those protesting at UNC-Chapel Hill begin with a sense of anger, then they protest before they can bring about change. Webb outlined the process he believes brings growth.
“I like to say that true change takes three parts. The first is education. The second is protesting, and the third is policy change. And so, I think for years and we’ve continued to see that this year in 2020,” Webb said. “That takes voting. That takes continuing to communicate and have conversations with our leaders, and that takes pressure.”
Moving forward, according to Webb, requires conversation.
“Conversation is an important first step when it comes to true change, but is only the first step,” Webb said. “I think we have to go farther than that. And we have to say, ‘Listen, let’s layout all of the plans on the table and let’s chose one to execute, and then execute that plan.’ I think that’s a good way to start.”
Webb said he wants a career in public service and law once he graduates from UNC. One thing is for sure: his passion for social justice and equality is immeasurable.