Allies for Black Lives-Madison will host the Kids March for Black Lives Sunday, Sept. 13, 3-5:15 p.m. starting at McPike Park.
“We understand there are much better ways to think about safety. That’s the goal of this rally is to reimagine safety,” allies in the Movement for Black Lives organizer Allison Bell Bern said.
Several of Madison’s child-centered organizations including the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and Families for Justice are collaborating on this event. At the march, children can visit several fun stations set up for chalking, decorating banners, making signs and noisemakers, and recording videos.
“I know that a lot of white parents are looking for ways to get their kids involved, maybe not in the movement but realizing raising nice children is just not involved but learning and doing anti-racist work,” Bell Bern said.
She also said this event will give parents an opportunity to demonstrate allyship and antiracist work looks like for their children. Bell Bern said kids are like sponges at these events.
“This intent of this event is to show the city of Madison that defunding the police is an urgent, mainstream issue and to help parents and children begin or continue the process of reimagining what safety means in a world that values community wellbeing over punishment and people over property,” she said.
About two-thirds of the group are parents. She said the parents in the group use as much kid language as possible to explain notions of right and wrong to their children.
“I’ll also point out of the fact that language is not necessarily the primary tool our kids for understanding the world,” she said.
The group will also disburse books that have been purchased for the Little Free Libraries as part of the “Little Free Library Racial Justice Takeover.” After a short march, Madison School Board member Ali Muldrow will speak about the importance of educating our children about race at Orton Park.
Allies for Black Lives-Madison will share their demands and highlight the need for the community to move with expediency to defund the Madison Police Department and invest in Black communities. Bell Bern said to examine existing structures in place to keep people safe.
“I think that defunding the police is just a great way of having this conversation,” Bell Bern said.
While Allies for Black Lives-Madison plans to reimagine safety, she said the group does not plan on compromising the health of those who attend the event. The group will pass around sanitizer and encourage people to wear masks.