Trische' Duckworth says her role as an organizer of anti-police-brutality protests in Washtenaw County was not something she planned, but something "God-ordained. The Ypsilanti resident is a social worker and also the founder of Survivors Speakan organization that aims to give voice to various kinds of survivors.
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While she was still in the store, she received a call from a friend directing her to a video of a Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputy punching a Black woman, Sha'Teina Grady El, in the head. Duckworth began posting calls for justice on Facebook, and more and more people came on board, including some of the seniors that Survivors Speak serves.
This is a group of individuals who need to make this happen, a movement of justice, peace, and love under God," she says. Duckworth is a survivor of sexual violence, and she helps others who have survived trauma and violence through Survivors Speak.
She says watching a Black woman being beaten "triggered a lot in women. Survivors Speak has since held two protests outside Clayton's office, and one that began on the Diag in Ann Arbor, to protest the local beating and show solidarity with anti-police-brutality protests in Minneapolis.
The organization also lent its support to a silent bike ride through downtown Ann Arbor in support of Black lives. Duckworth has strongly emphasized keeping the local protests peaceful, in contrast to protests that have turned violent in other locations.
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But she doesn't take credit for that, saying it is in God's hands. Duckworth says she thinks Sheriff Clayton has done well listening to protesters but could do more. He can't do it by himself, but he can meet everyone at the table. Hundreds of people have ed all three protests Duckworth has organized so far, and some estimated turnout for the third at over 1, It's very inspiring.
While some protest organizers in other cities have questioned whether White people should participate in these protests, Duckworth welcomes anyone who wants to participate. She says White allies are welcome to use their privilege to talk to family, friends, and coworkers, and that they might get better and faster than a person of color sending the same message.
In that moment I cried, because somebody saw this is not about Republicans or Democrats but about being a human being and having empathy at being brutalized at the hands of police for over years," she says. More importantly, she emphasizes that work toward racial justice needs to happen all the time, not just during a moment of protest.
She says that work includes "getting legislation passed and holding police able" as well as voting out politicians who aren't listening to their constituents on these topics. The next protest Duckworth is organizing is set for 1 p. Duckworth says those who can't attend a rally can help in other ways, like sharing information with others, confronting friends who say racist things, or participating in an campaign aimed at the state attorney general's office.
She ed Concentrate as a news writer in early and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at sarahrigg1 gmail.
Photo courtesy of Survivors Speak. Contact Subscribe.
Trische' Duckworth addresses the crowd at a protest at the Washtenaw County Sheriff's office. Survivors Speak.
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