Area educators participate in local rally to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter Seattle’s Day of Action


The Vancouver event was held Friday afternoon/evening near the intersection of SE Chkalov Drive and Mill Plain Blvd.

VANCOUVER — Members of the Washington Education Association Riverside Council of public educators in Southwest Washington participated in a rally Friday to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter Seattle’s Day of Action.

Geni Donaghey, who works at Crestline, holds up a Black Lives Matter sign as a car with more signage passes by Friday night in Vancouver. Black Lives Matter and the Washington Education Association teamed up for a rally. Photo by Paul Valencia
Geni Donaghey, who works at Crestline, holds up a Black Lives Matter sign as a car with more signage passes by Friday night in Vancouver. Black Lives Matter and the Washington Education Association teamed up for a rally. Photo by Paul Valencia

The event was held Friday afternoon near the intersection of SE Chkalov Drive and Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver. Participants held a procession in their vehicles, which were decorated to honor the event. The route of the procession proceeded from the intersection of Chkalov and Mill Plain and continued east on Mill Plain Blvd. The route then took a right turn at SE 136th Ave. before taking a right at SE 7th St., where it headed west before taking a right turn on Chkalov to return to the original intersection.

Organizers of the rally stressed to the participants that the event was “a peaceful rally to positively support our Black community.’’

Here are just a few of the dozens who showed up in rally of support Friday on Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver. Photo by Paul Valencia
Here are just a few of the dozens who showed up in rally of support Friday on Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver. Photo by Paul Valencia

In addition to the participants who traveled the route in their vehicles, others gathered at designated locations on the route to wave at participants. Those involved in the vehicle procession were asked to stay in the right hand lane to allow other traffic to pass. 

Dozens showed up with signs to display to passing motorists on all four corners of Chkalov and Mill Plain, starting at around 4:30 p.m. There were more sign wavers at 136th and Mill Plain, as well. 

“Southwest Washington and Vancouver educators are out here today to … show our support for one of the largest movements for racial justice in the 21st century,” said Jenni Bradley, a teacher at Crestline Elementary.

Corinne Contreras (left) and Carmela Lemon, both teachers at Mill Plain Elementary, showed up to the rally Friday to show support for Black Lives Matter. Photo by Paul Valencia
Corinne Contreras (left) and Carmela Lemon, both teachers at Mill Plain Elementary, showed up to the rally Friday to show support for Black Lives Matter. Photo by Paul Valencia

Education, she said, is a service industry, an industry of helpers, of people who want to help.

“We tend to come with a lot of loving and peaceful and caring energy. So I’m not surprised at all that a group of educators comes together in a really positive way to show community support,” Bradley said. 

Organizers also encouraged the educators to get involved in education, financial support and to become an advocate for anti-racism.

Also Friday, close to 50 people protested outside the Vancouver Police Department at Stapleton Road and Fourth Plain Blvd. 

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