Black Lives Matter Pop-up, Rally, & Speak-out 7.16.20

We invite all members of the community to peacefully experience the unfiltered narratives of the lived experiences from Black individuals in our community, participate in restorative action for racial justice, and support our members of the community as they speak with concerns and hopes during our speak-out.

Donations for Mt. Calvary Church of God In Christ: During this event, donations of diapers, period products, formula, children’s summer clothes. food are being accepted on the east side of the park. ALL donations will go to Mt. Calvary Church of God in Christ, for their members and their families hit so hard by our many structural inequities and injustice. All park attendees are encouraged to also sign our poster-sized “card” from our community to their members.

As COVID is especially risky and disproportionately dangerous for our Black community, masks and distancing are expected, and will be enforced. Please keep our attendees and volunteers safe.

++++Please bring your own chair.++++

Noon-5:00 pm – Pop-up Immersive experience – Chandler Park

How white people can make the most of this experience: This is a peaceful, low-interaction event which centers Black people’s feelings, experiences, needs, history, voices, and rights.

We as white allies have found that our feelings were very uncomfortable at first when we began doing this event. As many of us white people have not been in such a space very often, this experience tends to create discomfort.

We have found it helpful to remind ourselves as white allies that our feelings of discomfort, shame, sorrow, anger…whatever those feelings are in us as we experience this event, they do not compare to the lifetime of racial trauma borne by those living without our white privilege. While we as privileged white people can choose to leave a Black-centered space if we think it is causing our discomfort, Black people can never escape living in our white supremacist society.

We challenge all our white community members to brave the discomfort of this experience, and learn some profound truths about our community.

Those feelings subside as we move through the experience. We do ask our white attendees to attend to feelings discreetly, without burdening Black attendees with public venting or projection of feelings on others.

We ask that conversations be kept to a minimum to discourage gathering.

Feel free to stroll through at your own pace, looking at whatever elements you wish, for as long or short as you choose to, ignoring any elements you don’t wish to view.

Our volunteers are there for support and aid, not for discussion nor debate. Please do not engage with our volunteers unless you have a question about the event or need assistance. We appreciate your cooperation to keep all safe and healthy at our peaceful event.

– Poetry walk
– Poster-making station
– Poster displays from Black community members past and present
– Card Shower for Mt. Calvary COGIC
– Diaper/Period Product/Formula/Kids Summer Clothing drive to benefit Mt. Calvary
– Water, mask, sanitizer stations
#BlackAtWIU Tweets
– Microaggression FAQs


  • Voter registration
  • Black Mental Health Support Info
  • Learn your elected reps
  • How to submit complaints to IL AG, DHS
  • Housing and shelter info
  • WIRC
  • Census Info
  • Free Black Lives Matter buttons to the first 150 attendees

5:00 – Peaceful Solidarity March Around the square (begins in Chandler park, south on Lafayette, around the square to North Randoph, back to Chandler Park.

6:00 – Program & Speak-Out

Speak-Out Info: If you wish to submit your experiences for a white ally to read, please message our page. Otherwise, we will keep an open microphone as long as people wish to speak.


  • Belinda Carr, Chair, Democratic Party of McDonough County IL, former Director, Gwendolyn Brooks Multicultural Center
  • Dr. Essie Rutledge, Sociologist, Faculty Emeritus, WIU Department of Sociology
  • Tammie Leigh Brown-Edwards, Alderwoman-at-Large, Macomb City Council, and Chair, McDonough County Democratic Coalition

Donations of foam core poster-board and bottled water, sanitizer, masks welcome.

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