The cold afternoon wind on Monday, April 12, didn’t keep protesters off the corner of Eden Prairie Road and Valley View.
Ten people held “Black Lives Matter” signs and waved at passing drivers. In the wake of the tragic killing by Brooklyn Center police of Daunte Wright, local residents said they wanted to be visible for racial justice.
“We are about making a positive difference and educating our neighbors about racial equity,” said Rachel Moe, organizer of the protest. Her group advocates for racial justice and coordinates food drives for pandemic relief. She seeks to inform other Eden Prairie residents about historical patterns of racism in the suburbs.
Another protester, Jennifer O’Brien of Edina Indivisible, was also on the corner. “Things are not getting better. Our legislators’ heartfelt words fall short in the wake of layers of pain coming from the Chauvin trial and now the killing of Daunte Wright.”
O’Brien believes the Philando Castile Omnibus Bill at the Minnesota Legislature (HF 784) would be a step in the right direction. “It’s a serious effort to address systemic racism in Minnesota,” she said. The bill would invest $357 million to fund initiatives in violence prevention, housing, health, and other social service investments.
Krystal Queen, an Eden Prairie resident and 2019 school board candidate with three children in Eden Prairie Schools, came to the demonstration out of a passion for affordable housing. Queen manages The Friendship Project. Queen will take part in a panel discussion next Monday sponsored by the city of Eden Prairie (EP) Race Equity Initiative, which is facilitated by the EP Human Rights and Diversity Commission.
A follow up event organized by OneMinnesota is scheduled for Friday, April 16, 4-7 pm at 8100 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie.