What We Stand For

Posted by: Justin Pyles - February 18, 2021

In the middle of the pandemic, protests around the country erupted, fighting for racial justice. With the added health risk of gathering in large groups, people worldwide looked to do their part while staying safe.

Cary “CJ” Martin (DePauw University, 2023) and the men of the Beta Beta Chapter at DePauw University took to social media after the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The resurgence came in response to police brutality cases in late May, George Floyd’s death being the most prominent.

CJ Martin

“As being a part of a predominantly white institution and being a fraternity, we felt that, if we stayed silent on the situation, that was us complying with the institutional racism that is happening in America,” Martin said. “We wanted to show this is not who we are or what Delta Tau Delta stands for.”

Knowing the chapter wanted to do something and give back, they took an idea from the sororities on campus who had leveraged their social media platforms to collect donations. Martin created a social media board game with a dollar amount on each tile.

“I got into our group chat and to get as many guys to post it as possible. Everyone posted it, and people started to comment on how much they would want to donate. They would Venmo or Cash App them the amount of money that they decided they wanted to donate.”

Through posting the game board on social media, the chapter raised more than $3,000.

“As a Black man, it made me feel supported knowing that they understood or had an idea of what I was going through and wanted to help out in a way,” Martin said. “With just our little event and the multiple conversations we kept having over these social injustices, it just gives you hope. It gives me hope to see that my fraternity that is probably 95 percent white will come and support me and support me, any way that I ask them.”

Since raising funds was a chapter effort, the chapter got together online to talk about organizations they felt could benefit from their donation. “Some members didn’t agree with some causes, so we let them find their own. We raised the money together, so we wanted to respect everyone’s beliefs.”

The chapter split the donation with $1,000 going to Black Lives Matter, $500 to the ACLU, $500 to the National Police Accountability Program and the rest went to smaller organizations members of the chapter felt strongly about supporting.

“Being able to raise that amount of money in such a short amount of time was amazing. I’m excited to see how far we can go and how much change we can make, even in small ways.”

This story originally appeared in the fall 2020 issue of "The Rainbow."