George Floyd vigil to be held in Uptown Park

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The vigil planned for Monday in Uptown Park will remember George Floyd and other victims of police violence. Image from “Take a Stand Against Racism and Injustice”

By Lucy Bonner

A vigil to honor the memory of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives to police violence is scheduled Monday, June 8, in Oxford’s Uptown Park.

People are encouraged to begin gathering at 6:30 p.m., and the program is expected to start at 7 p.m., said LaTricia Hillman, organizer of the event. Along with other members of the Oxford community, Mayor Mike Smith and Police Chief John Jones are scheduled to speak, she said.  

Hillman, an Oxford resident, has created a Facebook page, “Take a Stand Against Racism and Injustice.” More than 1,000 people have responded to the page, with 294 saying they plan to attend the vigil and 753 who are interested.

Both the Facebook page and the event on enjoyoxford.org ask that all participants wear masks and practice social distancing when they attend. Hillman said she would like to continue being cautious towards the virus, while also being respectful to those we have lost. She said she understands some may not be comfortable being close to others during this time and invites these individuals to drive by and honk in support.

“This is a peaceful vigil for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Tony McDade and many, many others,” she said on Facebook.  

At 7:45 p.m., there will be a moment of silence while the names of the people who have lost their lives to police violence are read.

For those who are interested in taking part in this peaceful protest, all are welcome. This is to show support towards the Black Lives Matter movement, while remembering George Floyd and others who have died, Hillman said.

Outside of the vigil, there are some more ways that Oxford is helping to support the Black Lives Matter movement. A group of Miami University students held a peaceful march and protest on the morning of June 4.

Oxford City Council also passed a resolution condemning hate speech and discrimination recently, which has been sent to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Board of Health.

Hillman suggested ways for people to support this cause.

“Speak up when they see injustice going on. Vote. Voting is huge! Make sure you are registered to vote in November. Join or support organizations like NAACP or the ACLU. Shop and promote black owned businesses,” she said.

She also suggested a reading list for people who want to better understand the concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement. “There are a ton of books to choose from like, “When They Call You A Terrorist,” by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele; “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race,” by Reni Eddo-Lodge or “Don’t Touch My Hair,” by Emma Dabiri.”