Flint, MI–Flint has recently become a beacon of hope across the country prompting officers and national guard members to lay down weapons and stand with protesters. “JustUS” founders Lashaya Darisaw and Egypt Otis are hosting a vigil in hopes to expand our message of hope, by offering a sense of peace and a chance to mourn over the multitude of images of death being seen across the nation. The location of the vigil was intentional and commemorates the lives of those who fought and sacrificed for a better future, which is extremely relevant to what we’re seeing across the globe. Although protest and rallies are necessary to bring awareness to injustice, we also need time to grieve and process what’s been happening.
Our Mayor Sheldon Neeley has introduced a resolution that declared racism as a public health crisis in the city of Flint. This resolution was recently introduced at a rally held at city hall Monday June 1, 2020. Within this resolution that was introduced, it states, “disparity is highlighted by the coronavirus data. African Americans make up 31% of the State of Michigans overall confirmed cases.” This resolution that declares racism as a public health crisis states that over 100 studies has linked racism to worse health outcomes for African Americans.
“In a time such as this, where thousands of African Americans have died of covid 19 while dealing with racism as a public health crisis, people just have not had a chance to mourn. In the midst of this pandemic, funerals were suspended or limited due to health violations. We must acknowledge the impact that racism has on the mental and physical health during this pandemic. Michiganders need the chance to mourn. Not only because of covid 19, but the multitude of disturbing racial images seen on a constant and consistent basis. It is inflicting emotional and mental trauma while they fear for their life in this pandemic. Seeing these graphic images constantly while, being confined to their homes is taxing on mental health especially to those affected by the Flint Water Crisis.” says LaShaya Darisaw, an organizer of this event.
Organizers will be calling all black people and allies to participate in the “National Black Out Day on July 7th”, leveraging our economic power by investing only into black businesses. This will move the needle forward in improving the economic conditions experienced out of the global pandemic while simultaneously calling out for real systemic changes that improve black lives. Everyone is welcome to attend and pay homage to the lives lost during this time. We encourage everyone to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines by wearing a mask and staying at least 6ft apart. Some masks will be provided. MTA will have shuttles available from parking structures to the event. The Meta Peace Team presence has been requested. Stat EMS will be commemorating the life of Breonna Taylor by providing masks and shuttles for attendees.
LaShaya Darisaw: Community Political Organizer (co-organizer)
Egypt Otis : Community Leader (Co-organizer)
Sheldon Neeley (Mayor)
Tuesday June 9th, 2020 9:00pm – 10:30pm
Chevy Commons/ Chevy in the Hole