Educators march for black lives in Eugene

The event started at noon and will end at 4J headquarters.

Posted: Jun 12, 2020 12:26 PM
Updated: Jun 12, 2020 5:46 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- An Educators' March took place in downtown Eugene Friday, with hundreds of teachers and families demonstrating their support for black lives.

"I like to say revolt to liberate; your hand is closed, but liberation is opening our hearts," said Kevin Summerfield, a teacher at Churchill High School.

He said it's important kids get to know role models in their community. 

"Starting with those kids -- I brought myself to them," he said. "They got to see a black educator, they got to see not just somebody who's on TV, not no rapper, not no gangster, not no thug, they got to see somebody important who is spending his time to help educate them."

It was day 15 of protests in Eugene. Educators marched over a mile in the rain to make their voices heard, saying black lives matter and it's time our education system caught up.

"They really messed with the wrong generation," said Devin Jones, a former 4J student. 

They were calling for more representation in the classroom -- more black teachers and more guest speakers of color -- to provide more opportunities for kids to learn from someone who looks like them.

Jennifer Scurlock is the director for the National Education Association, a lifelong Eugene resident, and she said even saying black lives matter generations ago would have been a crime here.

"Are you hearing my heart?" she asked. "So here we are in 2020 -- black, white, multiracial people standing together in solidarity in this space and it is beautiful."

"In the words of Maya Angelou, do the best you can until you know better," she said.

The march started at noon at the federal courthouse and was set to end at 4J headquarters on Monroe Street.

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