A Black Lives Matter rally s coming to Lathrop.
And it’s the people of River Islands that banded together to help organize the event as a show of community solidarity.
Weeks after an attempt to organize a protest event in honor of George Floyd failed to gain the necessary momentum to move forward – resulting in a digital protest video that secured the likes of Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann, businesswoman Susan Dell’Osso, and Lathrop city council members Paul Akinjo and Jennifer Torres-O’Callaghan – a group from River Islands renewed the push and managed to bring other local organizers on board with promoting a family-friendly, community unification event that will take place on Saturday, June 20, at 10 a.m. at Michael Vega Park.
For Minnie Cotton Diallo, the Lathrop commissioner that created the protest video and said she didn’t receive the warmest of receptions when pushing for the event immediately after Floyd’s death, having the community come together is a blessing.
“I finally feel like I have support and that people that share the vision that I have are the type of people that are moving to the city and are expressing views of wanting to make change,” Cotton Diallo said. “I think it’s the progressive move that Lathrop needs to make.
“The community is coming together on this and one that is delightful for me is that the River Islands ladies that are working to organize this are working to mend the gap between River Islands and the rest of Lathrop to make this a complete community event.”
The event also has the support of the City of Lathrop as well as Lathrop Police Services. According to Cotton Diallo, Lathrop’s public works department will be closing off the roads between Michael Vega Park and the parking lot at the River Islands Technology Academy where the march will end, and speakers will be on hand to address the crowd.
Pastor Eric Baca of Thrive Church will begin the ceremony at 10 a.m. at Michael Vega Park with a prayer, and other speakers that will be addressing the group at the two locations include Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal, Lathrop City Councilman Paul Akinjo, Tracy City Councilwoman and San Joaquin County Supervisor hopeful Rhodesia Ransom, and Stockton NAACP 2nd Chair and Attorney Jerome Clay.
Wanda Johnson, the mother of Oscar Grant – who was killed by BART Police on the platform at Fruitvale Station on News Year Day in 2009 – will be the final speaker of the event at the River Islands Technology Academy.
According to Cotton Diallo, there will be a DJ at the school site and the event will be open to families who want to walk, stroll, or ride their bikes between the two locations.
Those who participate are urged to wear masks and maintain social distancing, and those who are willing to make a bring signs are welcome to do so.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.