MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — They may be small, but they are far from small-minded.
Nine-year-old Elizabeth and 11-year-old Bennett Gilmore decided to stand up for racial injustice Friday, organizing an event in Mt. Juliet.
A march for justice planned Friday stemmed from a desire for children to take part in the current movement for racial equality.
They took their idea to Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick, Ph.D. He told News 2 it’s important to have children be allowed to speak out against injustices.
“We applaud that,” said Chief Hambrick, “We’re not against peaceful protests.”
A couple hundred people met Friday in front of the community center on Charlie Daniels Parkway before walking to the police department for prayer and reflection.
“It’s a frightening world right now,” said Dr. Donna Wright, Director of Wilson County Schools, “We have to make sure our children embrace the idea of respecting and valuing human beings.”
Rachel and Brandon Gilmore, the parents of the two organizers said it’s always been important to teach their children about racial injustices.
Afterward, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis encouraged the family to get Black Lives Matter signs for their yard.
“I think kids are the next generation, it’s better for them to get woke and learn about racism and they can help stop it in the future,” said Bennett Gilmore.
His mother added that the time in isolation is empowering others to get out, protest, and expect more from their community.
“It’s just the first step of a movement that we will continue together,” said Rachel Gilmore.
Police officers were also in attendance Friday, handing out water bottles and snacks.
“We thank our community for the support and prayers,” said Chief Hambrick.