I am writing to celebrate some young people in our community in honor of Black History Month!
I am a lifelong Minneapolis resident and am relatively new to the Edina Community. Like many others I was rocked when George Floyd was murdered last summer. I was heartbroken, outraged and jumping out of my skin to "do something". I felt hopeless and ashamed of our systems of police brutality, systemic racism and our legacy of oppressing Black people.
My need to connect, to make my voice heard and express my outrage was met by the some young citizens of Edina. A friend texted me and let me know that some youth were organizing a march down 50th street to City Hall. I threw my two year old in his stroller and we headed toward the sound of the protesters. I observed young people, specifically young Black Women, leading the group down 50th to city hall where we stood and shouted for Justice for George Floyd at the heavy traffic passing by.
I met a young woman there named Peyton and thanked her for her organizing. I asked if I could share my phone number and if she might text me about future events. Not 24 hours later I received a text about a youth led Black Lives Matter March happening a day later starting at the high school. Again, it was led by Black women who marched in front of what looked to me to be close to a thousand young people and families through the quiet residential streets of Edina.
At the end of the march the young women spoke to the large crowd of the urgency and onus on all of us to make this our life's work. They specifically addressed that the passion and grief of this moment can't just dissipate tomorrow like a trend. They charged us all with the work of undoing racism.
I am so grateful to Peyton and this group of young women for their strength, their leadership and their wisdom. I personally will be following their lead on this life long journey of healing and anti-racism.