June 7th, 2020: March in Solidarity with the Modern Movement for Black Lives in America
On June 7th, 2020, Livonia Citizens Caring About Black Lives held its first event, a march and demonstration against unprovoked police brutality and against systemic racism within the justice system.
Livonia Citizens Spring to Action
On June 7, 2020, Livonia Citizens Caring About Black Lives held its first event, a march and demonstration against unprovoked police brutality and against systemic racism within the justice system. The murder of George Floyd prompted Livonia mom Paige Barylski to form the Facebook group Livonia Citizens Caring About Black Lives, and it quickly became apparent that the city was full of people ready to act to defend Black lives.
Thus, the march was planned, which brought 2000 Livonians together at the Kirksey Recreation Center, where people shared stories and experiences of being Black in Livonia. From there, attendees marched down Five Mile Road toward Livonia City Hall.
The peaceful march culminated in eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence in honor of George Floyd and thousands kneeling with fists raised in the air, followed by more speakers on the steps of City Hall.
Event speakers included then-candidate for Wayne County Prosecutor Victoria Burton-Harris, State Representative Laurie Pohutsky, Livonia resident Hilary Ramirez, attorney Shaun Whitehead, group cofounder Delisha Upshaw, Churchill High School graduate and local activist Celeste Mays, activist Alexandria Hughes, Livonia resident Elizabeth Freeman, and Justin Telin.
The attendance far exceeded the organizers wildest expectations, and the entire event was staffed and managed solely by volunteers with no police assistance or escorts.