Another protest was held in Cortland yesterday outside the Grace & Holy Spirit Episcopal Church on Court Street, following a demonstration on Monday that drew hundreds into Courthouse Park.
Several dozen were at yesterday’s event, an idea pastor Pete Williams says developed through an email chain among church leaders.
WXHC stopped by and spoke with Williams, who told us these local efforts come at a crucial time for everyone.
“There are a lot of white people here saying black lives matter, which is important because our community is becoming a lot more diverse,” Williams said. “People need to know that everyone is important in Cortland; everyone is important in the Church; everyone is important in our country.”
Regarding Monday’s larger event, Mayor Brian Tobin gave a rather personal reflection including a changing perspective he’s experience over the course of his own life.
“My goal yesterday was to hear from people in our community who have had issues that happened to them that have not happened to me,” Tobin said. “I understand there are potentially times in my life that I had an opportunity I didn’t realize or appreciate at the time because I just thought it was the same for everybody.”
Tobin’s comments came during the Mayor’s Report, during which he spoke about yesterday’s event in detail and threw his support behind those rallying against injustice across the country.
Listen to Tobin’s full statement below (~10 min):
Another march is planned for this Saturday beginning at Noon at Homer’s Durkee Memorial Park, then proceeding to the Village Green where demonstrations will continue until around 4 pm.
That’s been organized by several Homer High School students, who held a similar event in the village last weekend.
Additional events are likely to be planned in the future, as the local community joins with those occurring in cities nationwide since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
More information on this Saturday’s march in the graphic below: