Standing up for justice: As protests occur worldwide, community members take action

Daphne Kaplan, Senior In-Depth & Design Editor

As junior Mimi Lemar and senior Emma Nitkin stood outside the Bethesda Library on June 2, they saw thousands of people crowding the surrounding parking lots, eagerly awaiting to hear individuals speak about their experiences being Black in Montgomery County, Maryland. Amid racial uproar in response to the murder of George Floyd, they joined millions of others internationally to show their support towards the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I was really angry about the situation and how nothing has been done to stop the murdering of people,” Lemar said. “I wanted to do more than just signing petitions, and I thought it would be a really good community effort to go.”

In addition to attending two protests together, Lemar and Nitkin have sought to educate themselves and others through social media platforms, including posting on Instagram, participating in social justice organizations such as Operation Understanding DC and Bonimot Tzedek and holding education sessions. They have discussed issues, including defunding the police, mass incarceration, redlining and racial health disparities.

“I know that it’s really hard to change 400 plus years of oppression right now, but I want to see change happening. Even if it’s really small, like going to a protest … as long as more and more things happen and people start to realize the flaws in society, I hope change happens,” Nitkin said.