In Raleigh, teachers run, march to teach lesson about social justice
Posted June 6, 2020 5:45 p.m. EDT
Updated June 6, 2020 6:25 p.m. EDT
Teachers, students and their parents gathered in downtown Raleigh Saturday to raise their voices to promote racial equality. A march from Chavis Park to the State Capitol was the culmination of a relay coordinated by local track and cross country coaches to mark the civil rights marches of the late 1960s. Their run – over 40 miles from Oxford to Raleigh – traced the path of a 1970 protest that followed the murder of war veteran Henry Marrow and the acquittal of his alleged killers.
"We ran the entire way," said Matt Cope, history teacher and women’s lacrosse coach at Millbrook High School. “The five of us who started in Oxford and came all the way here are history teachers from around North Carolina.”
When they arrived in downtown Raleigh, hundreds more were waiting to join their rally, called Educators for Justice.
These teachers who wanted to teach a lesson, to set an example for their students.
Elikya Mwanda, a student from Heritage High School in Wake Forest, said Saturday's heat and humidity was nothing compared to what George Floyd experienced.
“He couldn't breathe for nine minutes and all I have is a mask on," she said.
Matt Edwards, who teaches math at Heritage, said educators should all think of ways to include anti-racist lessons into their classes.
“We are with people of color every single day, and we have a platform to impact them,” he said.
Susan Grimes shared her hopes that the lessons would lead to real change.
“It would be so nice if people didn’t see someone as that black family or that black person, but just that family,” she said.