Keeping the Dream Alive in Reno

Kennedy Vincent and Neith Pereira report on the recent “We Have A Dream: Inclusive Day of Action” in Reno to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, amid a national and local climate of racial reckoning.

Children taking part in chalk art and get out the vote activists were part of the participants for the August 28th event at Wingfield Park in downtown Reno. Photo by Neith Pereira.

A Space to Connect and Share

“A lot of us are still upset about what’s happened and what’s currently happening. Believe in Nevada gives us a space to connect and share,” said Kaitlin Young, from the Reno group which organized the public, free speech, maker art event.

“We are here today spreading kindness and coalition building, justice equity and an opportunity for all,” her partner Kyle Young said.

There were Black Lives Matter flags, signs saying Silence is Violence, and “End Gender and Race Oppression.” People were encouraged to add their own messages and art.

“We decide everything with a direct democracy. It’s our goal to create not obligations but opportunities to serve our community and strive for impactful change,” said Kyle Young.

Since George Floyd was killed on May 25th while being arrested in Minneapolis, there have been a series of Black Lives Matter protests in Reno.

Seeking a Better Tomorrow

One of those taking part in the gathering, mother and activist, Sarah Bravo said she stood with Believe in Nevada. “This movement is so much bigger than just Black Lives Matter, this is changing the world for everybody,” Bravo said.

“Liberty and justice for all is really just for some,” Kaitlin Young said of all the work and progress that is still needed 57 years after the Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech.

“I will continue trying until my last breath to make my community, my state, my country, my planet a place that I’m proud to live in. Truly I want us to come together to acknowledge that in spite of differences and point of view; we can treat each other with kindness, compassion and we can all serve each other for a better tomorrow,” Kyle Young said.

At recent protests, local activists have pointed out there remain insufficient political and legislative efforts to make police more accountable for racist actions. They say the Reno Police Department’s update of their use of force policy in June prohibiting techniques to restrict a person’s ability to breath, such as in Floyd’s death, and encouraging deescalation, was too vague and fell short of expectations for meaningful change.

Reporting by Kennedy Vincent with Photography by Neith Pereira

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