Community members of the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood are organizing a family-friendly, peaceful protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Friday, July 3 at Stoepel Park on West Outer Drive.
The protest, which starts at 6 p.m. at 10363 Outer Drive W, was the idea of Que Roland, founder of coworking space Seat Detroit in Eastern Market. Roland, a mother of three, saw her influence in the area as an opportunity to give a voice to her children and others in the area in a safe space.
“Families with children who have been worried for their children’s safety are encouraged to involve their children in this,” Roland said. “My sons asked me to do a protest. They wanted to participate in a protest, and I felt the best way to handle this was where I could control the circumstances and to involve the community would be to put one on in the neighborhood. It was very much motivated by my children.”
There have been daily protests around Detroit and the rest of the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25 after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. Well over a month later, Detroiters are still finding ways to speak up for Black Lives Matter.
“[Floyd’s murder] motivated me to want to speak up and not just sit still and be mad,” Roland said. “Because I have Seat Detroit, I have that platform, that people would hear me and possibly listen to me. Me having three sons, Black boys, it mattered that they saw their mom stand up for Black men and men of color because this directly affects them and it’s scary to me.”
Roland, along with fellow organizers Maya Biggs and Lakeisha Wright and PPE donater Yvette Brown, are also collecting donations of children’s books on Black history authored by Black people to give away at the protest.
She hopes that this protest will bring more attention to the neighborhoods outside of downtown Detroit, especially from the local government.
“My hope is that people see that one — there’s such a negative spin on protests — that there are groups that can host these types of events and they can be peaceful and be about community and family, and that it’s not all negative,” Roland said. “I know that it’s easy to say ‘oh they’re acting up, they’re rioting, they’re tearing up things, they’re doing this and they’re doing that,’ so I wanted to show that Black people can come together, and not just Black people, I want to say all people, that we can come together peacefully with the same accomplished goal.”
To find out more about the protest, visit Seat Detroit’s Facebook and Instagram or email them at [email protected].