STAMFORD, Conn. — After police officers shot and killed two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana in separate incidents last week, Jeré Eaton talked with many young people in the black community about how they were feeling. They wanted a rally, so she helped to organize one.
“I told them that I would work with them to get a rally in Stamford so that people can express themselves in a very positive way versus making assumptions and also creating any type of divide within the city,” Eaton told Daily Voice. “So it’s a way of bringing people together.”
The result was a rally held in front of the Stamford Government Center on Monday evening. Hundreds attended the rally and gathered around a podium to hear Eaton and others speak.
Some held handmade signs. “I Am Not Defined By The Jacket My Soul Wears,” one sign said. “One Human Race,” said another.
Another sign, featuring black and white silhouettes talking, had the message, “There Needs to Be A Dialogue” — the goal of Monday’s rally.
“We’re hoping that this will be an opportunity for people to start talking and for us to grow closer together as a community,” Eaton said.
After a short prayer, the rally stopped for a few minutes as participants were asked to talk to someone they had never met to express three feelings that they had. Some met with handshakes, and others with warm embraces.
During her remarks, Eaton said the phrase Black Lives Matter — which she used in her Facebook event posting — was not meant to diminish the value of other lives. But she said black lives need attention right now.
“Every life matters, blue lives matter,” Eaton said. “However, black lives are the ones that being taken away on a regular basis, and we got to stop it.”
Eaton said people of all different races and backgrounds need to work together to make that happen.
“We need our white brethren and we need our hispanic brethren. We need our officials to really help us … and for us to start loving ourselves more. And also for us to love others more, and then to get the love back,” she said.
The rally comes one day after hundreds of people marched in Black Lives Matter rally in Bridgeport .