LI councilwoman hosts online forum for youth to discuss George Floyd protests

BROOKHAVEN, New York (WABC) -- Across the country, people are speaking out and standing up for justice after the death of George Floyd.

Many have been marching the streets and carrying signs expressing their frustrations with how this situation has been dealt with time and time again. Brookhaven Councilwoman, Valerie Cartright, wanted to make sure today's youth didn't get left behind on the movement and had a chance to share their views.

Cartright decided to host a virtual forum for change for a duration of eight hours and 46 minutes in honor of George Floyd.

She wanted to create a safe space where youth around the country could express their thoughts and be included creating a dialogue promoting equality and justice for all.

"I want them to know that we are going to rise together, but the together includes them," said Cartright. "It's important that we highlight these things, it's important that we talk about these things, it is important that we include the youth in these conversations."

The virtual forum was held on zoom and throughout the day youth from around the country were able to join in and be a part of the session. It was encouraged for any youth who participated to express their feelings however way they like.

"I've gotten numb to it, now that we have come to the head of the situation, it's like I can't be numb to it anymore," said one participant. "I want to be human, I want to walk around like everybody else does and not really fee that extra pressure that no one feels."

Many spoke about the ongoing protests that have turned violent, others sang songs of hope, and some created art pieces to show their thoughts on the injustices occurring across the country.

"Everyone is emotional right now and we need to give them an outlet," said Cartright. "We need to encourage them and empower them to be a part of the change that we are seeking."
Cartright plans to host more forums in the future so that more young voices can be heard.

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