One New York City mom wasn't quite sure how to get her idea off the ground.
Maebel Gebremedhin brought her oldest son to a George Floyd protest and felt as though children needed an outlet where they could express their feelings.
"I decided after taking him that a children's march was necessary," Gebremedhin said. "I just didn't know how to go about it."
After a few Instagram posts and callouts to various organizations, Gebremedhin stumbled upon Warriors in the Garden, a group dedicated to peaceful protests. Although hesitant at first due to safety concerns, the NYC-based organization ultimately decided to help Gebremedhin bring her idea to life.
"People forget that kids have a voice," Kiara Williams, an organization leader for Warriors in the Garden said.
That they do, and they made it clear during the group's first children's protest for racial equality on June 9. The event ultimately turned into a profound gathering of nearly 700 people who met at the Barclays Center and walked to the Brooklyn Public Library and Prospect Park.
"It went amazing. I didn't know it was going to have that kind of a turnout," Williams said. "Hearing the kids speak and parents encouraging them to share their feelings—we love to see it."
Children were given a mic to share their thoughts—many of which concluded with a "wash your hands" warning—but it was Gebremedhin's son who made an impact with his concluding statement, "I'm black and I'm proud."
"It really touched my heart," Williams said. "That really changed the tone."
Families of all backgrounds gathered (at a distance) while wearing their masks to show their support for the movement. Williams stated that masks were also available for those who needed them. The peaceful family event went so well that Warriors in the Garden will be looking to do future children's protests on a regular basis.
"It was incredible," Gebremedhin said. "It was nice to see different families, different races, different cultures come together in Brooklyn. It was united."
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