Kelowna mayor issues statement on Black Lives Matter rally

The rally is scheduled for June 5 at Kelowna’s Stuart Park

Kelowna residents are getting ready for a rally in support of the black community in the U.S., and the city’s mayor is weighing in.

Paige Harrison and Kermisha Pereira are co-organizing a peaceful rally on June 5, which will take place across Kelowna’s city hall in Stuart Park.

Harrison and Pereira said Friday’s protest comes after the ongoing unrest in the U.S. after the death of Minnesota man George Floyd. The duo said their goal is to provide people with a safe space to discuss their experiences and to learn from each other.

Mayor Colin Basran issued this statement regarding the peaceful rally:

This is a crucial time to listen and learn about discrimination and racism experienced by members of our community.

It is abhorrent to me and my Council colleagues that people experience racism in Kelowna and we stand with everyone committed to identifying how we can make positive change for Black men and women… and by extension, people of colour and Indigenous Peoples.

Council heard through the Imagine Kelowna engagement that our citizens want to live in an inclusive city, where we increase diversity and create an environment where all people feel safe and respected. That’s why our Council has made inclusiveness an essential priority for years to come.

I thank everyone who joins the peaceful rally tomorrow for Black Lives Matter to help move us toward the society we want to be.

Friday’s event will include an open mic for people to share their experiences and to open up the conversation about racism in Kelowna. The event will finish off with a march through the city’s waterfront at 8:00 p.m.

READ: ‘It’s in the looks people give’: Kelowna women use shared experiences to combat racism

READ: Social justice advocate yells at Kelowna council, demands presence at Black Lives Matter rally

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
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