By Madalyn Blomkvist
The death of George Floyd is something I will remember for the rest of my life. The death of George Floyd is something my teammates and coaches at Ithaca College will remember for the rest of their lives. Attending a predominantly white institution and living in a predominantly white community, the conversation surrounding police brutality and Black Lives Matter can be uncomfortable, but these are conversations that must take place.
A group of high school seniors from my hometown of Clinton, NJ came together to organize a peaceful protest and collect donations for the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization that works to free individuals that have been wrongfully convicted in the past through the use of DNA testing. With the 300+ individuals in attendance, we were able to raise over $5,000 for the Innocence Project. As I marched through the streets of Clinton, I felt an overwhelming sense of unity that I did not expect. My community is one that is traditionally conservative, so I went in with my expectations being quite low. To see so many people coming out in support of the Black community was an amazing site to see. Thankfully, our protest was able to remain peaceful despite minimal interferences with local racists.
Photo Credit: Corbin Payne Photography
I echo the USWRF Board of Directors in saying that the only way to make changes in regards to the treatment of the Black community is by voting. At 20 years old, many of my peers fail to recognize the importance of voting and the impact that they are able to make. I urge you to vote. I urge you to continue signing petitions. I urge you to amplify Black voices that have been silenced for far too long. I urge you to donate to various organizations across the country if you are able to. I urge you to peacefully assemble. Use your voice for good and take action.