Solana Beach 4 Equality holding virtual meetings
As protesters took to the streets following the death of George Floyd, Solana Beach resident Shawn McClondon posted an offer on his social media to meet with any of his neighbors.
As one of the relatively few Black residents in Solana Beach, he said he believed it was important for more people to diversify their social circles.
“The very first step we need to take if we’re going to have some type of racial justice in America was to meet other Black people, to know them, to become friends with them, to expand your circle as far as minorities are concerned,” said McClondon, who works in digital marketing and has lived in Solana Beach for about 14 years.
After that, he joined a growing number of local residents in Solana Beach 4 Equality, a grassroots initiative started by Tina Zucker and Susana Nelson-Arnold. The group organized a peaceful protest and march along Highway 101 from Solana Beach City Hall toward Encinitas last month. Group members have also participated in virtual meetings about how they can address the social justice issues that led to Floyd’s death in police custody.
Protests across the county have continued since a viral video showed Floyd lying face down on a Minneapolis street while he told officers he couldn’t breathe. He was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly thereafter.
Zucker, a Solana Beach resident of more than 40 years, said at the protest she organized last month that “not doing anything is no longer an option.” Since the nationwide protests began at the end of May, the San Diego Police Department and county sheriff were among the law enforcement agencies that banned a neck hold known as the carotid restraint.
McClondon said Solana Beach 4 Equality’s areas of focus include education, policing and community togetherness.
“It’s great that those things, especially the George Floyd incident, caused people to want to act and do something,” said McClondon, who grew up in Long Beach before moving to San Diego around age 13. “From my point of view, being a Black American, none of this is new to me. These incidents are things I’m familiar with just growing with. The only difference now is everyone has a camera phone.”
For more information about Solana Beach 4 Equality, visit facebook.com/groups/1442926272573163.
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