SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Yesterday, June 12th, 2020, hundreds of residents and activists participated in the “Walk for Justice” at the South Brunswick High School. Marchers walked from the high school through the Monmouth Junction area, holding up signs and chanting for Black Lives Matter.
This was the second major march in South Brunswick, as rallies like these have happened all across the country in reaction to the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Jada-Rea Poku and Essence Baker, two life long South Brunswick residents, organized the event. Baker posted the idea for the event on her Instagram page, where she received an overwhelming response from the community which lead the two of them to organize this march.
50 volunteers from the community came out to help the cause, by handing out water bottles, collecting food, raising money, and leading the crowd in chants. Members of the community even set up a table to help people register to vote and fill out a census form.
“Growing up in South Brunswick was an honor and has truly prepared me for the world and introduced me to such a diverse student body,” Poku said, “Looking out at this crowd, we see all the colors of the rainbow out here marching for racial justice.”
Notable members of the community were in attendance for the march and spoke to the crowd. Superintendent Scott Feder spoke about the importance of schools being ‘Anti-racist,’ and pledges that South Brunswick schools will be part of an overwhelming change in education.
Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker urged the community to work together and to vote in the upcoming election in order to make real change. Religious leaders from the community were also in attendance, including Cantor Rockman of South Brunswick’s Interfaith Clergy Association Chair and Pastor Edwin Llyod.
Azra Baig, a member of the South Brunswick Human Relations Commission, spoke on behalf of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, the first back congresswoman to represent New Jersey. Baig read a message from the congresswoman to the crowd. “While I cannot be there in person, I want you to know I am with you in the work, and in voices like yours that I am listening to up in Washington” Congresswoman Coleman’s statement read, “The lives and well-being and citizenship of black people has always mattered less, the difference now is that the world can see us. The world has decided that enough is enough”
Poku is currently organizing a public forum with South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka in July 2020. This forum will allow members of the community to have an open dialogue with the police department. The event will be officially announced in the upcoming weeks.