“Who are we? Elmhurst. What is this? A peaceful protest.”


Photo by CeCe Lampa

At the Elmhurst March for Equality, many created signs quoting the Constitution and foundational American documents in their defense, redefining the purpose behind these words. June 13, 2020.

CeCe Lampa, Editor-in-Chief York-Hi

On Saturday, June 13, hundreds of Elmhurst residents gathered in Wilder Park, in compliance with the Elmhurst Park District and Elmhurst Police Department, and marched in the second peaceful protest this month.

The organizers of the “family” friendly and peaceful protest, required masks and spoke to a large crowd in Wilder Park of the privilege present in the community as well as racism experienced by people of color.

The event began in Wilder Park with organizers establishing guidelines for the rally and setting the tone with some introductory speeches and by leading the crowd in chants such as “Black Lives Matter” and “Who are we? Elmhurst? What is this? A peaceful protest.”

“These chants are to support each other and require us to listen to each other,” organizer and York graduate Elise Tran said. “We must lift each other up through our voices.”

Following the opening comments and tone-setting, protesters marched from the east side of Wilder Park passed Immaculate Conception Church to York Road, taking a right on St. Charles to Hagans, then circling back to the west entrance of Wilder Park.

Although the crowd thinned a little after the march, several hundred returned to the park. The crowd remained silent while kneeling for a 8 minutes in 46 seconds to pay tribute to George Floyd, killed last month by a Minnesota police officer who kneeled on his neck for that same amount of time.

Following the moment of silence, a number of speakers took the stage.

Michael Childress, the current president of the Dupage County Chapter of the NAACP, discussed the promise of America, as well as the constant failure to live up to that promise, and ended with the final lines of Declaration of Independence’s promise,”with liberty and justice for all.”

York sophomore and speech team member Salma Brobbey gave an emotional speech, detailing some painful experiences she had in school, from other students touching her hair without permission to receiving painful racial slurs from classmates. Following her speech, the crowd gave her a standing ovation.

York students and alumni accounted for a large population of the protest, finding their voices in the racial justice movement.

“For me, coming out to the peaceful protest is because it is necessary to amplify black voices,” senior Abhita Chakravarti said. “While I don’t feel the pain black people feel on a daily basis, it is important to educate myself and listen to the voices of black individuals that have been silenced.”