'You will not break my spirit:' University of Kentucky students march after racist incident caught on camera

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Posted at 6:40 AM, Nov 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-08 14:54:17-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Members of the Black campus community and those who wanted to show their support marched across the University of Kentucky campus to protest racism Monday evening.

The event was prompted by an incident over the weekend in which Kylah Spring, a Black student dorm worker, was called a racial slur repeatedly. The incident was captured on video and seen across the country.

Students who showed up for the march said they were shaken by the video, but not surprised.

"A lot of this does happen pretty frequently, so you've got to be able to have your support group," said Mia Lapoint, a senior from Columbus, Ohio.

"Things like this happen a lot more than people really know. They're just not spoken out about or it's not told or they just try to keep it under wraps, really," said J.B. Brown, a senior from Cleveland, Ohio.

Spring led hundreds of students from W. T. Young Library to the Bowman Statue across from Memorial Coliseum. Then, she told her story.

"My name is Kylah Spring," she shouted as tears began to stream down her cheeks. "I'm a freshman here at the University of Kentucky. This is my first semester. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I was physically, verbally, and racially assaulted by Jane Doe, aka, Sophia Rosing."

Spring spoke to the crowd for several minutes. Her parents traveled to be with her in the aftermath of the incident and sat at her feet with those who had gathered close to listen.

"I am deeply saddened by the events that took place, but I am most grateful for justice that is to come. And to Miss Rosing - You will not break my spirit!" Spring continued. "You will not break my spirit and you will be held accountable for your actions. I only pray that you open your heart to love and try to experience life differently and more positively after this."

Spring's mother, Betsy, spoke as well, challenging everyone to act against racism.

"We thank you. We're grateful for you, but we charge you to not just let this be a moment. Let this be a movement," Betsy Spring said.

The University of Kentucky Office of Student Conduct is investigating the incident.