By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
MOUNT LAUREL – U.S. Rep. Andy Kim joined more than 100 people during a protest and rally recognizing Juneteenth and voicing opposition to police brutality at the Rowan College at Burlington County campus Friday.
Nazim Tijani, one of three student organizers of the event, said Kim, the first-year Congressman running for re-election in the New Jersey’s Third District, spoke about hope, unity and how the time is right to make changes in society.
“The event was amazing,” Tijani told Front Runner New Jersey. “We marched and stood alongside Route 38, chanting and letting our voices be heard. We also had a couple of speeches by some of the youth voices in the community.”
Tijani organized the RCBC event with sisters Deborah and Richmonda Garrick, daughters of award-winning South Jersey artist and educator Richmond Garrick.
Deborah Garrick called the rally a “beautiful moment of unity.” She said she was pleased with the turnout.
“The protest turned out great,” she said. “I didn’t think this idea I had would’ve turned into what it did. So many people who are passionate about the injustice the black community experiences and worked hard to have their voices heard.
Richmonda Garrick said, though, the march was just the beginning to shine a light on continued injustices in the African-American community.
“Thank you so much to every single person who came to join us in the fight against injustice,” Richmonda Garrick said. “The fight is not over, but through us change will continue to happen. It was a great day of unity in our community and I believe the impact was even greater as we were able to fight on such a special and amazing day of Juneteenth.”
Photos from the event showed a diverse crowd of participants, which has become a regular sight at protests and marches in New Jersey around the country protesting the death of George Floyd and others as other races join African-Americans in calling for change. A recent march in mostly-white Atco had to be organized in secret because community rejection but went off without a problem because of determined organizers.
“Overall, I think we served the purpose well,” said Tijani, who attended the Burlington County Institute of Technology. “We spread a message about our pain and frustration while letting people know how they can help and support.”
The rally at RCBC marked several rallies held by young people around South Jersey. The Stockton University NAACP held a rally about the same time on its campus in Galloway. Students led an NAACP Atlantic City Black Lives Matter Rally there, starting the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Complex.
“Today, we’re going to march, we’re going to chant together to make sure our voices are heard,” NAACP Stockton Chapter President Danielle Combs told the crowd at that event, according to the Press of Atlantic City. The newspaper said more than 300 attended the March for Justice at Stockton’s Campus Center.
Other Juneteenth events were held throughout the region, in Camden, Glassboro and Cape May.
READ: Find A Juneteenth Event in South Jersey HereNote from AC Joseph Media: If you like this story and others posted on Front Runner New Jersey.com, lend us a hand so we can keep producing articles like these for New Jersey and the world to see. Click on Support FRNJ and make a contribution that will go directly in making more stories like this available. Thank you for reading.