‘Voices of Unity’ project: Fox 8 to share stories of togetherness, solidarity during year of drastic change

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The year 2020 is going to be remembered as a year of drastic change, from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to rallies and sometimes rioting in the streets protesting racial injustice. With that in mind, we here at Fox 8 News are striving to find uplifting stories of togetherness.

This Voices of Unity project is headed by our Wayne Dawson. He starts with more on the “unity” within the movement.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — It’s an image burned into the minds of many: the death of George Floyd, a tragedy that sparked rioting, passionate protesting and outrage by people of all races all around the world.

But out of Floyd’s death was born a movement; a cry against racial injustice, police brutality and systematic racism. It’s a cry under the mantra “Black Lives Matter.”

“I think people are looking for reconciliation,” said Danielle Sydnor, president of the Cleveland NAACP. “They are frustrated, but they are also optimistic and hopeful.”

Sydnor said the importance of unity in this movement is knowing that it is not just one group of people trying to get access to change.

James Pasch represents the unity within the movment. He’s the director of the Anti-Defamantion League in Cleveland.

“Right now when it comes to supporting Black Lives across the nation, black lives matter, and it’s our job to partner with our black brothers and sisters, their organizations, to lift up their voices and join arm in arm to say enough is enough.”

Some observers say a chief characteristic of this movement is its youthfulness; young people pushing for change.

The Rev. E.T Caviness marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the nation’s first civil rights movement more than 60- years ago.

When asked how the civil rights movement of the 60s compares to what’s happening today, he said: “There has always been a group of Caucasians that really understood right from wrong.”

He said King was in his 20s when he stepped forth to lead the struggle.

“”I think it’s time for all of us to understand if we are in this together, I say as Dr. King said, ‘either we live together as brothers and sisters or we parrish as fools’,” he said.

As far as what it will take to change hearts and minds?

“I think we are already seeing hearts and minds changed,” said Pasch. “We are seeing it at the rallies throughout the country. The question is how do we capitalize on that moment to create a real history, policies that change that’s going to last for generations — not just marches, but in our laws.”

“We see a lot of people that are taking a moment to understand more,” said Sydnor. “Who are taking a moment to own a piece of the tragedies that are taking place and also people who are owning a piece of the responsibility for solutions, and that’s the important part.”

If you know of people or organizations working together to make our world a better place in which to live, send your ideas to tips@fox8.com. Please use the subject line “Voices of Unity.”

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