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Rally for black lives draws people to east Vancouver

About 50 people gathered Wednesday afternoon in front of Evergreen High School in a rally for black lives.

Chica Morrow, a 2016 Evergreen graduate, helped organize the event attended by friends, fellow graduates and educators.

“There needs to be something on the east side,” she said.

Another organizer, Daria Blambic, said she went to a protest in downtown Portland and wanted to see more being done in the suburbs. The rally attracted people from around the area who waved signs at passing motorists. A table offered information about registering to vote.

The Mickelson family said they simply wanted to do something in response to what’s happening around the world and got a text from a friend about the rally.

“As a person who’s experienced privilege my entire life, it is so necessary to listen,” said Jed Mickelson.

His wife, Suzanne Mickelson, agreed. She said the issue cannot be ignored this time.

“George Floyd is finally the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she said.

The couple, who work in Evergreen Public Schools, brought their daughter, Eleanor, to the rally. Jed Mickelson, a history teacher, noted how quickly society changed in response to the #metoo movement.

“I feel like this is the beginning of that,” he said. “I hope more policy comes out of this than the #MeToo movement.”

Maverick Faualo came to the rally because he wanted to see more Pacific Islanders like himself involved in building awareness. He waved a sign with the names of black people killed by police.

“I’m all about unity. I’m all about love,” he said.

Matthew Young, a youth advocate at Cascade Middle School and head of Vancouver Elite Outreach, was one of the speakers at the rally.

“I am an African American and have dealt with racism and injustice,” he told The Columbian.

He would like to see people working together to empower people and supporting organizations that address the root causes of people’s hurt and trauma.

“That’s where the change comes,” he said.


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