OAKLAND (KPIX) — Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland was a rallying point for young people who gathered Thursday evening to remember Nia Wilson, an 18-year-old woman stabbed to death July 22 at a BART station.
John Lee Cowell was later arrested and charged with her murder.
Organizers branded their open-mic session as “Youth Speak, Adults Listen” and speakers spoke passionately about the dangers lurking on BART trains and stations.
“Black lives are always, it seems, so consistently under attack,” said event organizer Nivia Charles. “A lot of times it strikes apathy in our hearts so we don’t really feel like we have the power to get up and do something but the fact that it happened to one of our own — and is so shaking to our whole community — we knew that we had to get up and get out there.”
Many of the young people who showed up didn’t know Nia Wilson but they said something about her killing really touched them and prompted them to speak up.
“That could have been me,” said Dontashia Brooks. “That could have been my nieces, my cousins — it could have been anyone … I just don’t know how people could have so much hate in their heart.”
Nia Wilson’s funeral is scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. at Acts Gospel Church in Oakland.