SAN FRANCISCO -- During Saturday's historic Black Lives Matter march, which shut down the Golden Gate Bridge for a time, there was a surprise engagement... and example of learning.
San Francisco resident Quin Messenger proposed to his girlfriend of five years in the middle of the bridge as thousands of marchers cheered them on.
The couple says they don't want their proposal to overshadow the greater message of the Black Lives Matter movement, the much greater message behind their union.
Carrie grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and Quin's family is rooted in Clarksdale, Mississippi and had very different perspectives on race.
Being black, Quin says he and his family experienced race-related trauma in the past, which made him fearful to attend protests.
"I have fears directly related to my father... his parents wouldn't allow him to go to protests in fear of being a target," says Quin, as he became emotional recalling his journey.
But wanting to support Carrie in marching along the Golden Gate Bridge, he knew what had to be done.
"When I showed up there were cops and I felt the anxiety. I trusted that I would have that strength because I reached into my pocket and I held onto that ring, and everything in me, to give me the strength and follow love. It was a powerful moment for me as well."
The pair says they don't want their proposal to overshadow the greater message of the protests but hopes it serves as inspiration for others to continue the conversation about race and they continue to learn from each other.
"I have a responsibility to engage in these conversations and educate myself and be empathetic. And it was important for us to engage within our circles and inspire others to have conversations of racism in different circles... knowing my background and his background," says Carrie.
The pair hope to wed as soon as it's safe for their families to travel again. In the meantime they send their love and gratitude to all who witnessed their engagement and for the outpouring of support from the community.
'Follow love': SF couple hopes engagement during Golden Gate Bridge protest brings attention to greater cause