Pace University Plans Social Justice Week to Honor Student Killed by Police

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A sign that reads Social Justice above a sign with an arrow that says One Way

This past Saturday, October 17, marked 10 years since Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr., an unarmed, 20-year-old Pace University student and football player, was fatally shot by a Pleasantville, NY, police officer.

To honor the life of Henry, Pace University will host a new annual commemoration called “Social Justice Week” starting on Monday, October 26. The event, which was created by students, faculty, staff, and alumni, will be recognized at both Pace campus locations and will feature a series of social justice-centered programs.

The goal of the event is “to foster advocacy within us all” through education, empowerment, and passion, according to Pace’s website.

Social Justice Week is intentionally planned around Henry’s birthday, October 29, on which he would’ve turned 31 this year. To celebrate his life, Pace’s Black Student Union will host a rally bringing attention to social justice issues.

“We are raising awareness for a variety of issues, but centering our whole week around the tragic loss of DJ Henry in 2010,” Pace’s website states.

The officer who shot Henry, Aaron Hess, was never charged and the U.S. Department of Justice cleared him of any wrongdoing in 2015. However, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, there has been renewed support for reopening the federal investigation into Henry’s death, according to The Enterprise.

In July, celebrities like Rihanna, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, Charlize Theron, Taraji P. Henson, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael K. Williams, Kerry Washington, Mary J. Blige, and Gabrielle Union wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr calling for justice for Henry’s untimely death.