A Black Lives Matter march for justice is planned for the City of Rye this Saturday, June 13th, 2020 at 2pm. Originally planned to begin at Rye Playland at 12pm, the march will now begin at Rye High School at 2pm. The organizers are expecting a few hundred people to attend.
The march is being organized by Rye High School alumni Cristiana Villani and Amanda Yannett, both RHS ’15. “We are honored that the speakers were more than happy to join our march and speak to our community,” Yannett told MyRye.com. “Ken Jenkins, Chris Johnson, Joan Grangenois-Thomas, Vincent Fields, and Jovan Richards are all visiting African American speakers.”
“We will also hear from other elected officials. Lt. Mike Anfuso and Lt. Scott Craig from the Rye police department were supportive. They communicated with us that the department was willing to assist us and ensure everyone’s safety. Members from the Rye City Council, specifically Sara Goddard, Pamela Tarlow, and Greg Usry, were supportive.”
From the starting location of the high school, the group will be marching to the Village Green in front of Rye City Hall. Several local government officials and leaders will speak before the group continues a march that loops back to Rye High School.
The current speaker slate includes:
Ken Jenkins, County Deputy Executive
George Latimer, Rye guy and County Executive
Shelley Mayer, State Senator for 37th District & Chair of the Committee of Education
Chris Johnson, County Legislator for 16th District
Josh Cohn, Mayor of Rye
Steve Otis, Rye guy, former Mayor and current State Assemblyman
Joan Grangenois-Thomas, Trustee of Port Chester
Jovan Richards, Executive VP of NY Young Democrats
The organizers are encouraging education, signing petitions, supporting black-owned businesses and more. “I believe one of the most important actions that those in our community must take is educating themselves on the history that is not taught in history books or the current affairs not shared in the news,” said organizer Villani. “After everything I learned majoring in Africana Studies, I am confident to say that our schools are not providing students with the detailed truth about how our country came to be, how to unlearn the racial stereotypes we are ingrained with, or how to realize and reflect on the 400 years of racial injustice.”
“I agree with Cristiana and her comment about the lack of honest discussion on the history of America in our school system,” said Yannett. “Confronting and honestly discussing the white privilege, implicit bias, and prejudice that exists in Rye and across the country is long overdue. I hope this movement can help spark these discussions in Rye and encourage the Rye City School District to include diversity education as a curriculum requirement. I challenge Rye residents to keep the energy and momentum going in the fight for justice.”
Both promise to continue to press for change beyond Saturday’s march.