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July 11, 2020
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Never Been More Proud

Published June 24, 2020

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Last Saturday, scores of Madison youth put their best foot forward and conducted a non-violent, non-silent protest in support of black lives. They peacefully marched almost two miles and then returned to the First Congregational Church (FCC) for an afternoon of powerful student speeches. None of this would have happened without the Daniel Hand Diversity Club. They impressed from start to finish and, as a 19-year resident, I have never been more proud of Madison’s kids.

I would like to acknowledge those adults that gave their support to this event. We are lucky to be led by people like State Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-101), First Selectman Peggy Lyons, and Police Chief Jack Drumm. Not only did they ensure the safety of all involved, they attended until the very end, letting the kids know that their voices are being heard. A special thanks goes to FCC’s Tim and Sarah Vetter, who are always so willing to host special community events like this. Their efforts, along with a whole host of adult volunteers, allowed members of the Diversity Club to focus on what really matters: fighting for justice for a group of U.S. citizens who still do not feel safe in their own country. Each speech shed new light on this problem and when the church bell tolled four times, representing the 400 years since the first slave ship arrived on our shores, the seriousness of this issue was undeniable.

As a teacher, I love that the youth-led protest for black lives was more than just some contrived learning-by-doing activity. It was a seed planted; a step in the right direction. Most of the speeches can be found online and I hope people will take the time to listen. The future spoke up on Saturday. It was a beautiful thing to hear.

Randy Howe
Madison