Delegation will join national conference during Superbowl to highlight racism, cop brutality

By Brian Taylor
Black Lives Matter: Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio — A delegation of 19 people will depart for Minneapolis February 2 to participate in “2018 Take A Knee Conference and Rally,” scheduled for Feb 3-4. Subtitled, “Race, Police Violence and the Right To Protest” the 2-day program will draw participants and families from police brutality struggles across the country as well as athletes who have taken a knee in various cities in a show of solidarity. Conference details can be found at http://www.takeakneenation.com

The caravan includes members and supporters of Black Lives Matter: Cincinnati (BLMC), the American Indian Movement (AIM) and Cincinnati Revolutionary Students (CRS).

“I’m travelling to the conference because I want to learn what everyone else in the country is doing/thinking about police brutality and institutionalized racism,” Cathi Bridges said. “I hope we’ll all be able to bring a lot of ideas back to help us be more effective in Cincinnati.”

“Being able to attend the ‘Take A Knee National Conference’ has immense value to me in the sense that it provides an opportunity to collectively recognize and affirm the humanity of Black people and the fact that we are deserving of justice,” said Ed Vaughn. “Attending this conference with Black Lives Matter Cincinnati reminds me that I am not alone in recognizing the worth of Black lives, and that we are valid in our actions to combat police violence.”

“I’m going on this trip to learn,” said Cassandra Sallee. “I think coming together to interact with other activists and organizations is a necessary part of cadre development, and I hope to leave with a deeper appreciation for this organization and the work we’re doing.”

After the program portion of the weekend concludes, participants will gather near the stadium to collectively kneel in solidarity with families fighting police brutality and as a statement of commitment to fight against institutionalized racism.

In addition to deepening bonds with others on the caravan itself, Jake Dingler explained it will give him a chance to, “meet others in the fight from around the country, and show solidarity with the families affected by police brutality.” Toni Taylor,  the mother of Cary Ball, Jr., will be among those attending. Ball was gunned down by police in St. Louis in 2013 before the more well known cop killing of Mike Brown, Jr. Police weren’t found guilty in either case.

“I see no more fitting place,” Dingler continued, “to shed light on this travesty of police violence than the largest sporting stage in the U.S. A national conversation has sprung from this protest and it’s not a conversation that can die at the end of the football season.”

BLMC printed a special “take a knee” T-Shirt to help raise funds so everyone interested could attend. In addition, a number of people who heard about the delegation made monetary donations.