Towson activists, photographer Devin Allen honored in TIME magazine 'Person of the Year' issue

Calling for change on campus. Students hold a sit-in at Towson University to demand a shift in school policies to end racial injustice. The protest is part of a nationwide movement.

Student activists who convinced Towson University's interim president to sign a pledge to improve diversity and fight discrimination on campus earned a mention in Time magazine's "Person of the Year" issue.

While the top honor went to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Black Lives Matter activists -- including the "Occupy Towson" group -- were named as runners-up.


Time's write-up of Black Lives Matter included a section on student activism on college campuses.

"At Towson University, near Baltimore, demonstrators won new courses on race relations and tenure-track positions earmarked for black professors," wrote Time reporter Alex Altman.

Last month, Occupy Towson students sat in the president's office for eight hours, demonstrating and ultimately negotiating a list of demands with interim President Timothy J.L. Chandler.

The Towson effort was part of the Student Black Out movement, which Time said included student actions on more than 70 college campuses.

"This is what universities are supposed to do. We are supposed to help students express their opinions and find solutions to problems as they see them," Chandler said at the time. "I'm extraordinarily proud of this group of students, who want to make this a better place, not just for them, for all of us."

Chandler will be replaced next month by Kim E. Schatzel who comes to Towson from Eastern Michigan University. Schatzel said she'll need to learn more about the students' concerns before committing to a course of action. She's scheduled to visit Towson to meet students on Thursday.

The online version of the Black Lives Matter story included a picture by Baltimore photographer Devin Allen of a black man's fist raised in the air.

Allen, previously an unknown amateur photographer, has become a favorite of Time. An image by Allen of an African-American man running from police in Baltimore graced a cover of Time in May, which was also named as one of Time's favorite magazine covers of the year.

The Black Lives Matter story in the Person of the Year issue also included a picture from May 1 -- the day six officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray -- of a man carrying a black-and-white American flag in Baltimore, shot by Getty Images photographer Andrew Burton.