First: Community members gathered yesterday to raise their voices and remember Walter Wallace Jr. who was fatally shot by police six months ago today.

Then: The impact of a student-led strike at Haverford College that took place amid a nationwide racial reckoning is still lingering.

And: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: Understandable and irrational.

P.S. With the June-like temperatures out there, brace yourselves for a pollen harvest.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

Walter Wallace Jr. is remembered 6 months after police fatally shot him

Three siblings stood in Malcolm X Park, looking out at a crowd of more than 200 who had gathered in West Philadelphia.

But there should have been four, said Lakitah Wallace, 28. Six months ago today, her brother Walter Wallace Jr. died from a volley of bullets fired on him by city police.

“We will never let my brother’s name be forgotten,” said Wallace, her voice catching. “Our lives matter. Our lives matter.” Scores of people marched Sunday from 58th and Spruce to Malcolm X Park to lift Walter Wallace Jr.’s name to public attention. The gathering marked one of the first times the family has appeared publicly since Wallace’s death. Those who rallied took part in the start of a three-day multi-city rally to call for freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal and Russell Maroon Shoatz, both convicted of killing Philadelphia police officers.

Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., asked those present yesterday to remember the value of every life. “We’re all human beings.” he said. “That’s all we are, and we deserve to live like anybody else.”

Reporters Rita Giordano and Kristen A. Graham teamed up to bring you the full report on the event.

Haverford College students launched a strike last fall after a racial reckoning. The impact still lingers.

Haverford College administrators are still trying to find ways to help the school heal since a student-lead strike launched after the larger global racial reckoning divided the campus.

In the wake of the police shooting and killing of Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia and in response to what students of color said was decades of neglect and poor treatment of nonwhite students at Haverford, strike organizers asked professors to cancel classes and students to refrain from attending, working their campus jobs, or partaking in any activities until their demands were met.

Classes were disrupted at the time, and antiracism reforms were hoisted into action. Now, the school community is still navigating the divisions over it all. We interviewed nearly two dozen Haverford students, faculty, staffers and parents in recent months to get as close as possible to this story.

Read on for reporter Susan Snyder’s story on how the struggle is still playing out.

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That’s interesting

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  • 📀 Michelle Zauner of Philly’s Japanese Breakfast has a new memoir born of grief called Crying in H Mart.

  • 🏀 The Sixers are at their lowest point now, but they have a clear path to earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Marc Narducci writes.

Opinions

“These are just two of the countless super-citizens who have been central to our regional pandemic response. People who have toiled with little public fanfare to mount a historic U.S. public health rescue infrastructure for which there had been no modern precedent.” — columnist Maria Panaritis turns her attention to an unemployed band tour manager who stepped up to become a vaccination site supervisor running a high-wire sprint.

  • The documentary Hello Sunshine about a Philadelphia community activist reaching her breaking point explores the toll of activism and how the pandemic compounds collective grief and trauma, columnist Helen Ubiñas writes.

  • It’s time to leave coal behind and move forward to a new age, an environmental lawyer raised in the heart of Pennsylvania coal country, Lee Epstein, writes.

What we’re reading

  • Philly launched a litter task force, the Philadelphia Tribune reports.

  • Howard University alumni weigh in on the school’s decision to dissolve the classics department, prompting students to protest, the New York Times reports.

  • Entertainment Weekly has the full list of the 2021 Oscars winners.

  • Eater Philly is on the case of the most confounding mystery of Mare of Easttown, why Mare drinks Rolling Rock instead of Yuengling.

  • An internet joke turned into a real world gathering known as the official “Josh Swain Battle” with colorful pool noodles, and ComicBook can explain.

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