“Justice for Breonna Taylor” inspires events throughout Iowa, Illinois

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Events are coming together quickly throughout Iowa and Illinois to honor the late Breonna Taylor, the Louisville victim of a police raid shooting earlier this year.

Racial justice events are happening tonight in Decatur and Elgin, Ill; tomorrow (Saturday) in Belleville, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa; and next week in West BranchDavenport and Cedar Rapids in Iowa.

The events are organized by many of the social justice groups that have become more familiar since June, Advocates for Social Justice in Cedar Rapids and We FIGHT in Davenport. Online events about racial justice are growing almost daily, and you’ll find several highlighted in the calendar below.

While the ruling on Taylor’s death revives social justice events, several groups are moving forth with fundraisers, outdoor activities, or online outreaches. They include United Pride Center of Champaign County in central Illinois, which kicks off its three-day virtual Pride celebration today, and United Action for Youth in Iowa City as it recruits last-minute participants in its Ride 4 Youth Saturday.

The renewed focus on racial justice comes after a week when Taylor’s killers, a trio of Louisville police officers, learned they would not face any charges related to her death. Taylor died after police bullets struck her while they were serving a “no-knock” warrant to an address they believed to be part of a drug ring operated by her former boyfriend.

“Pride Fest: Staying Apart, Rising Together” kicks off at noon today with an online auction that continues through Sunday. An online “mix and mingle” tonight is one of nine online events happening over the next three days as part of the celebration.

Check out a quick summary below of highlights coming. Or, check out the full calendar below for an overview. For details, see the list at the bottom:

• the 8th Annual Ride 4 Youth to benefit United Action for Youth in Iowa City, coming this Saturday and is all-virtual this year, meaning you can ride anywhere at any time during the day.

• Dr. Angel Jones, a “critical race scholar” who researches how racial injustice affects mental health, leads a panel that focuses directly on a factor overlooked: Taylor’s situation as a black woman. Jones will be joined by several other leading Black scholars including sociologist Mia Brantley Wright, and Upward Bound associate director Mahogany Persip.

• Davenport is the site of an Open Carry Rally, held in response to efforts by BLM protesters to intimdate BLM activists through hateful open carry events. Attorney Eric Puryear, a leader in civil rights protection and police brutality fights, leads this event Oct. 3.

• Beadazzled Face Shields is yet another chance to fancy up your COVID-19 protective face shield with bling at Beadology Iowa in Iowa City Oct. 3

• Witchcrafts Under the Stars welcomes families to an evening of Halloween-themed crafting and a movie, in Ankeny, Iowa, Oct. 8.

• Capital City Pride presents: Storytellers, out of Des Moines, keeps Pride alive with a night of listening to diverse voices from the LGBTQ community.

For a full listing of events coming up through mid-October, click here to access the TRM Calendar of Events. (cover photo credit: Advocates for Social Justice)

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