CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Stepping into the center of a crowd of demonstrators in Coral Springs this week, Delroy Robinson picked up a megaphone and demanded authorities take action against racial injustice.
“We pray that change will happen now,” Robinson shouted, as hundreds of protesters raised their signs in support and cars in the distance honked their horns.
It was a transformative moment for the 55-year-old minister and real estate broker who has guided disadvantaged youth people through hard times for decades in Coral Springs.
The tall, well-spoken immigrant from Jamaica has long worked behind the scenes in advocating for the fair treatment of black Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities across all parts of society, from the streets to the boardrooms.
But the peaceful gathering in downtown Coral Springs on Tuesday gave Robinson the chance to step into the spotlight of a community hurting from the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery and appalled by the response from authorities in the civil unrest sweeping the nation.
“For me, it was an electrifying moment,” Robinson said. “When I stood there and looked into the crowd, it was a lot of young people and they were demanding many things. They were expressing their passion. I saw and felt a generational shift.”
Robinson, married with three children, spoke at the rally as a representative of the Clergy Coalition of Coral Springs and Parkland which he’s been involved in since his City Church Coral Springs was active from 2015-2018.
His church met weekly at Coral Springs Middle School when school was out, and it was known for annual back-to-school events at Betti Stradling Park in Coral Springs during which dozens of disadvantaged children got school supplies.
These days, Robinson is focused on his real estate business, but continues inspiring others through his words. He hosts weekly Facebook Live sessions he calls “inspirational vitamins” which draw viewers from across the world.
“I’m always on a quest to inspire people to do more than what they have done and what is possible,” he said.
Over his years as a minister, he’s spoken to congregational crowds in the hundreds, yet few occasions have been as meaningful and personal to him as taking part in the Coral Springs rally and calling out for change.
Robinson told the crowd he, too, had a run-in with police that made him question the conduct of police and those holding power over others.
In the late 1980s, he said his car broke down in Miami and, as he waited for help, police arrived and mistook him for another person wanted for a crime. Officers drew guns on him, but eventually let him go.
He asked protesters to demand that elected officials, corporate leaders, and social institutions be held accountable for pursuing policies that support racial reconciliation.
“All of God’s people,” he said in the megaphone, “say amen.”
And the crowd did just that.
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