SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – From the Electric City to the Commonwealth and across the nation — people are watching. With the spotlight on racism and police brutality, the logical next step is ‘what needs to happen to make change?”
“To see Scranton come together like this? It just makes me feel so empowered,” said Daryl Merriwether of Old Forge.
Another day, another peaceful protest. But the message still ringing clear when it comes to police brutality and racism.
“It needs to stop and the only way we can do that is having a discussion with the younger people in our families and educating them about their history. We need to let them know what’s right and what’s wrong,” said Edlouis Cooper of Scranton.
Diverse crowds continue to gather, chant and unify.
Allies of the black and minority communities seeking guidance on their role, uncomfortable conversations needing to take place for change.
“How do you feel about people of the opposite race? Do you have friends that are the opposite race and what makes them different?” said Cooper.
In a more public forum, organizing and exercising rights to vote so that growing voices are heard beyond the protest.
“Let them know that democracy still has some integrity. If we come out and say what we want, the community will follow up,” said Darl Merriwether of Old Forge.
Younger generations are getting involved and those difficult questions are being asked; but what are our elected officials doing to support this movement?
Mayor Paige Cognetti is sitting down with the Black Scranton Project to answer for the Electric City.
“It’s my job to listen and then it’s my job to act,” said Cognetti.
Fielding questions about support of black-owned businesses and economic development to diving into the police budget.
“I don’t want to just say ‘hey, we hear you. We stand with you.’ That’s not enough if it’s not backed up by policy and a willingness to change and act,” said Cognetti.
Some have a message for those affected by injustice and the growing allies that march beside.
“Thank you. I love you and let’s keep this positive movement going,” said Cooper.
Peaceful protests continue and the world’s attention is fixed on these issues.
Those organizing and participating in this movement now issue everyone the challenge: have those uncomfortable conversations and be more active in inspiring change.