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Amplify Black Voices Rally in Eau Claire

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 10:10 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked outrage across the country and through western Wisconsin.

Even as the number of protests dwindles, one group in our area is working to keep the conversation going.

It was an evening filled with music and powerful stories.

“All of this trauma that has been going on in the black communities it’s been a series of silencing, a series of tossing it aside and it needs to be something that we are constantly addressing, something that we are constantly acknowledging,” said Organizer Eleni Seyoum.

It's been more than a month since protests took over cities across America following the death of George Floyd.

While the number of protests has died down, people in Eau Claire kept the momentum going Friday night with a rally.

Organizers say the purpose is to amplify black UWEC students, faculty, and community members' voices, as well as just keep the conversation going.

“There is a story and there is like humanity behind what people are trying to say and what they’re trying to do. So I just want people to keep having that conversation, actually keep listening and not just listening but also doing,” said Organizer Jasmine Baker.

Around a hundred people sat in Phoenix Park for the rally.

Aryanna Sabourin and her friends didn't have plans to attend, yet where drawn in while walking by the river.

“It’s really empowering. Everybody is protected and they’re respectful of each other and yeah it makes me feel really prideful that we’re actually like focusing on issues in our community and we’re willing to talk about it,” said Sabourin.

Multiple people also spoke on experiences they, and their friends, have gone through.

“Let’s inform them of what we black people go through. Because sometimes these people have no idea what we go through, they just come out and say things not because they are racist or not because of how they are trained but because they are not aware. It’s basically ignorance,” said Paul Agbashi.

“Finally I think this is the moment people are starting to wake up and realize that this is an actual problem and it needs to be addressed and we need to actually have political change, local change, actually start having that conversation so I think this is very important. Even after this event we want people to keep having that conversation and keep going,” explained Baker.

Donations were also collected; those will be delivered to Minneapolis communities that are in need of essential supplies.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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