Become a social justice warrior and not just a bystander

It is interesting that aaduna has not established a theme for submitters to write to since its beginnings in 2011. Even as global situations are intriguing for a thematic-based issue, we prefer not to go down that road. As a global, multicultural platform dedicated to giving global people of color and other creatives a viable online publication venue for the sharing of their intriguing ideas and creative work, we rather let you decide and submit your work driven by themes you elect.

We understand that like other influencers, social issues may drive an idea that becomes manifested as a poem, story, essay, or visual art.  And for some of us, direct action takes precedence over preparing a creative work at least in the moment we find ourselves in and the situation that drives our passion(s.)

Since I am driven to pursue social justice issues as a person and chairperson of Auburn, NY’s Harriet Tubman Center for Justice and Peace, I am sensitive to local, national, as well as  global issues that challenge the sanctity of humaneness. In that light, I share my involvement pertaining to an issue recognized worldwide and its implications at the local level.  

Your documented actions are welcome for us to platform on the blog.

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bill berry, jr., Chair, Harriet Tubman Center for Justice & Peace, Inc., speaks at a Demonstration of Solidarity for Racial Injustice Event held at the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center, Auburn NY on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Organized by the Social Justice Task Force, partners for this event included: Auburn Cayuga Branch NAACP, Auburn Public Theatre, Harriet Tubman Center for Justice and Peace, Harriet Tubman Boosters, Human Rights Commission, Auburn Enlarged City School District, Gwen WebberMcleod - Gwen, Inc., Celebrate Diverse Auburn, City of Auburn, Auburn Police Department, Cayuga County Legislature, Cayuga County Sheriff Department, and Beverly L. Smith Empowerment Initiative.

The Aftershocks of George Floyd 

by bill berry, jr.

June 6, 2020 Equal Rights Heritage Center Demonstration Statement 

George Floyd

Say his  name.


George Floyd stands as testament to the countless African Americans whose lives have been taken by overt and covert racists who always state that they are not driven by race, not driven by their hate, their indifference. But they are driven.

 George Floyd’s death is a testament to systemic racism and that disease is worse than  covid-19. That disease’s history spans over 400 years and society has not rushed for a vaccine. That racial disease is also silent. You may think you are disease free. You are not. You are asymptomatic. And in this moment, recognize that two pandemics are killing Black people right in front of our eyes. So…

This is my charge to each of you.

Please understand hope without action may make you feel good, but it is killing people who look like me. 

Hope without action is a temporary feel good moment and makes you think you did something…that you stood up.  Hope is not enough…not anymore.

Good intentions fail to embrace the insidious nature of generational racism and that  characteristic is in the DNA of most Americans. All too often, those feel good moments do not evolve into strategic agenda that question the lack of economic opportunities, educational equity, diversity-driven hiring initiatives for African Americans; however, our culture is appropriated by those who want to be like us but not of us.

Demonstrations are singular moments that have become repetitive activities. We shout out each time that the demonstration of the moment is the pivotal catalyst for societal change, for a new beginning, and then the next moment comes along. So, I humbly say take your passion and self-enlightenment and transition those understandings to an activity that challenges, respects but holds accountable those in authority who have been unable to change the racial history of America and your specific community. 

As chair of the Harriet Tubman Center for Justice and Peace, we ask you to become a social justice warrior and not just a bystander. Create a legacy for your children and grandchildren’s so they will not have to march and continue to demonstrate in their future. 

As you depart this sacred space grounded in George Floyd’s memory, if you fail to take progressive action; to demand significant change from those you vote for or vote out; if you fail to understand that your demonstration is the first step and not the end goal. Are you then part of the problem or the solution?

Change is difficult. And yet, you must challenge and not wait for good intentions to become your reality. This is your community. Seek strategic action. Make Auburn and America better for everyone

Be George Floyd’s legacy.

Say his name.


Thank you. 


bill berry, jr.

June 6, 2020 Equal Rights Heritage Center Demonstration Statement

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  1. Deeply moving speech by an inspirational activist who has given a creative voice to those who who were silenced.


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