Sabrina Samuel was one of the speakers at the ‘Stettler Against Racism - A Peaceful Protest to Support Black Lives Matter’ event which was held June 12th in the football field beside Wm E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent

Stettler Against Racism event was held on June 12th

“We want to raise awareness, start conversations and keep the momentum going.”

‘Stettler Against Racism – A Peaceful Protest to Support Black Lives Matter’ was held June 12th in the football field beside Wm E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus.

There were a few speakers scheduled, plus the overall event was meant to raise awareness about the issue of racism and help to encourage conversations about it as well, said Catherine Robinson, one of the event’s organizers. Also helping to organize the event was Mobilizing Central Alberta (Sadia Kahn and Dieulita Datus) and Cheryl Baptiste out of Red Deer.

“We want to raise awareness, start conversations and keep the momentum going,” said Robinson, adding that she was also hoping the community could come together and plan something for National Aboriginal Day on June 21st. “I would encourage people to learn, educate and to ask questions,” she said.

Baptiste said her main goal was to help educate those in attendance. “We want to bring the resources that are available in town or online in surrounding areas, and direct people to where they can go to get further educated about the history of discrimination and the actions that they can take to combat it,” she said.

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” she said of the awareness-building protests that have taken place across the region of late. Baptiste helped to organize two protests in Red Deer as well.

“It definitely shows that people are aware of what is going on,” she said of the response. “But it also shows sometimes that they don’t have as much information as they think they do,” she said. “You can’t really get out and fight something if you don’t (fully) know what it is.”

Baptiste shared that she has experienced discrimination firsthand as an Indigenous person. “I’m only 23, and I have a whole lot of life ahead of me so I don’t want this to be something that is present going forward. I definitely want to go out of my way to help educate the younger people, too,” she explained.

During her speech, she shared of the personal pain of racism, and the devastating effects it has on a family.

“I can’t tell you the number of times my mother cried in front of me and my siblings asking why does this happen to my kids? A lot of people don’t understand or don’t consider how much it affects a young individual.”

She remembered how she would often ask herself why she was being treated differently than others.

Sabrina Samuel, who is originally from Consort, explained that whenever people are mobilized, it can really push a cause forward.

“You can’t watch something like that and not react,” Samuel added of the killing of George Floyd.

“There is so much change in the world – I really feel like it’s happening now. Changing isn’t something that is coming – change is here,” she said.

“I really hope that people will have conversations about speaking up both in micro ways and in macro ways,” she said, adding that it’s in everyday places like schools, playgrounds and in talks around the kitchen table that racism can also be eradicated.

“Justice and equality are two of my deepest personal values. And I really believe things can change, and they are.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

A look back – marking the opening of the new Town Office on the corner of Main Street and 49th Ave. in 1966

The opening was attended by deputy premiere A. J. Hooke, who acted as the main speaker at the ceremony

47 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday in Alberta, still 620 active cases

3 active COVID-19 cases remain in Red Deer

COVID-19: Central zone at four active

Alberta confirms 130 cases Monday

Calgary singer Erin Ross to be featured at ‘Entertainment in the Park’ July 15th

Roots/blues musician can hardly recall a time when she wasn’t passionate about performing

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Daisies bring a sunny look to the garden

Daisies bring a sunny look to the garden

IIHF encouraged by NHL’s potential return to Olympics in ‘22

IIHF encouraged by NHL’s potential return to Olympics in ‘22

Raptors coach Nick Nurse knows attention to family will be key for players

Raptors coach Nick Nurse knows attention to family will be key for players

NFL, NFLPA still haven’t resolved all protocol for camps

NFL, NFLPA still haven’t resolved all protocol for camps

More positive tests, cancelled workouts add to MLB unease

More positive tests, cancelled workouts add to MLB unease

MLS to resume season minus 1 team amid growing virus concern

MLS to resume season minus 1 team amid growing virus concern

US government launches campaign to reduce high suicide rates

US government launches campaign to reduce high suicide rates

In risky bid, Trump stokes racial rancour to motivate voters

In risky bid, Trump stokes racial rancour to motivate voters

Most Read