The protests continue in Chagrin Falls, Pepper Pike, Solon and across the country. Momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement marches on as people young and old speak out against racism and social injustice. People worldwide took to the streets after 46-year-old George Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, held his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
“I can’t breathe,” Mr. Floyd said over and over, pleading for his life. Caught on video, those haunting words stay with us.
During the Pepper Pike demonstration, there was an open mic. Eighteen-year-old Roxanne Popovsky said Orange High School students who organized the event wanted to allow everyday citizens to speak. Their words were not fancy like those of orators, but they showed the ache in our hearts and the need to come together as a community.
In Solon, the Chagrin Valley Islamic Center organized a prayer vigil for Mr. Floyd where people asked:
Is this a battle the next generations will have to fight again and again?
What do we do next?
Is this the moment in history when change will really begin?
Can we use our community diversity as the catalyst to make a difference?
Where do we go from here?
In Chagrin Falls, protesters were urged to use their anger and frustration not for violence or destruction but as a force to keep the momentum going.
That is what we all need to do. Keep talking to each other. Keep listening. Keep reaching out. Keep pushing for change.