WASHINGTON D.C. (WMBD) — Last week, the tri-county area saw many Black Lives Matter protests taking place. However, a local woman decided to take her support and curiosity one step further.
Tricia Braid of Heyworth IL said she, like many others, was troubled by the video of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
“I participated in that feeling by sharing hashtags and stories online and I knew there was a way that I could do more,” Braid said.
Braid said in addition to the video of Floyd’s death, once she saw how tear gas and rubber bullets were used on protesters in Washington D.C. she was inspired to hop on a plane to the nation’s capital to witness what was going on and learn from the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
“It wasn’t good enough for me to just share stories,” Braid said. “I needed to get my feet where my mouth was and I needed to get my heart in community with the people that were there.”
She said she spent 48 hours in Washington, doing numerous Facebook lives of the protests in Lafayette Square while closing her mouth and opening her ears.
“It struck me strongly that the reason I went was to be involved but I knew the best way I could be involved was to talk less and listen more,” Braid said. “I needed to understand what was happening around me.”
Braid said she marched with protesters and spoke with both protesters and police to try to gain a deeper understanding of the chants that were going on.
She said she’s using the experience as a growing tool and wants to use her platform to share what she’s learned at the protests with her community.
“When I speak to my children in the future, I don’t want this to be a one-off deal,” Braid said. “I want to be able to tell the story that this was a change in our nation that we can be proud of.”
She said to keep the movement going forward there needs to be more ‘hearts, minds and feet’ engaging otherwise this movement would be just a moment in time.