NewsLocal News

Actions

'White Allies' protest addresses how to support Black organizers in fight for civil rights

Posted at 12:13 AM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 10:09:55-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- People all races and backgrounds united Wednesday at Libby Hill Park to join the nationwide movement for racial equality.

"What we’re experiencing right now is the biggest civil rights movement in the history of the world," Dr. Tiffany Jana said. "We are seeing people come together. We are seeing allies stand up on behalf of my people and it is an extraordinary sight to behold.

This particular movement was organized by ‘White Allies' and put together as protesters around the world continue to demand police reform and racial equality following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

“In order to move forward, we really need to have the hard conversations," one organizer who asked not to be named said. "We need to know what we need to do, to do the heavy listening.”

The conversation Wednesday focused on how White allies can support young Black organizers in Richmond.

“What is tangible actionable next steps we can take to be a good ally?" another organizer asked.

The afternoon rain showers didn’t stop the call for change.

“We’re fighting for equality. That means that if you’re an ally, I am going to be what I preach," one speaker said. "I’m going to treat you equal because that’s what I would want you to do for me.”

A quick chant was shouted as the crowd left Libby Hill and then marched silently in the rain towards the Richmond African Burial Ground.

The group got a history lesson on the significance of the site followed by demonstrators calling on the white community to "rise up for justice."

“We have failed our Black brothers and sisters time and time again as they have rose up for freedom and justice," an organizer added.

Their hope is that white and black people can listen and fight together for racial equality.

“I am speaking to White people. My people," an organizer said. "We need to do better. It is your duty to find what you can do to lift some of that load for Black people. They have been carrying that load for 400 years, it is our turn.”