Protests across US looking for equality, asking for change


Protesters in Canton. Courtesy of Jaylon Smith. 

After weeks of protesting against police brutality and racism, protesters are looking for a “next step” to enact real change.

For Sarah Schmidt and Jaylon Smith, that next step is to help put together a teach-in on racial justice on July 18. The teach-in will allow anyone who wants to join to come and break into small groups to develop ideas and steps for reform in specific areas like: education, healthcare disparities, justice system reform, economic inclusion and political inclusion.

Schmidt is the assistant director of global education initiatives at Kent State Stark campus. She has been active in politics since her undergrad before going to grad school at American University, which only enhanced that part of her life. 

“I went to grad school at a very politically active institution,” Schmidt said. “I think that’s probably where the activism piece kicked in for me.”

Smith is the vice president of the Black Student Union at Kent State Stark. Smith attended one of the protests in Canton and is now working on the teach-in to talk about what steps to take for reforms and how to make them a reality.

“I think that with everything going on right now, it’s bigger than George Floyd, it’s more about things brewing in the Black community as far as police brutality,” Smith said. “What are some things we can do to reform some policies in the community to better the life of everybody in the community?”

The teach-in will be at Central Plaza S in Canton from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 18. Food and refreshments will be provided.

 Contact Nicole Harness at [email protected]