ITHACA, N.Y. –– A steady crowd has continued to gather in downtown Ithaca every Sunday to hear speakers address issues of racial injustice in the community and propose steps forward after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police spurred nationwide protests over a month ago.

This is week six of local action in Ithaca.

Ithaca native, 32-year-old Jordan Clemons has been at the forefront of the local rallies held at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the Commons –– leading chants and facilitating speakers to address crowds that have exceeded 100 participants week after week for the last six weeks.

This Sunday’s program featured young musicians who shared songs and words of solidarity, including a band from Lehman Alternative Community School calling themselves Wallace and the Apes, and community activist Alex Mora.

“The reason we have the band, the reason we have Alex is because this is not just a black and brown issue,” Clemons said. “With everyone’s help –– with everyone’s abundance, everyone’s compassion and love we can put an end to this once and for all.”

Clemons also gave updates on the Unbroken Promise Initiative –– an idea unveiled two weeks ago that aims to create economic opportunity in the West End in part by creating a new community hub with educational resources, universal daycare, mental health resources, access to healthy food and possibly a community bank amongst other things.

“This week coming we need to find our architect. We already have the vision so now we’re getting to the nuts and bolts of bringing this vision into a reality,” Clemons said.

The rally Sunday ended with a march to Ithaca Police Department Headquarters and then back downtown.

Weekly demonstrations are set to continue with another gathering next Sunday on the Commons at 2 p.m.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com