Edmonds Youth for Equality bring Black Lives message to Edmonds with Saturday march

Leader Mikayla Weary kept the marchers energized with a steady beat of chants. (Photo by Larry Vogel)

In a Saturday afternoon event that drew more than 250 participants of all ages, Edmonds Youth for Equality staged a peaceful but vocal march through downtown Edmonds aimed at driving home the issues of social justice and Black Lives Matter.

Led by Edmonds residents Mikayla Weary and a fellow organizer who asked to only be identified at Rowan, the marchers proceeded up Main Street from Brackett’s Landing, energized by repeated chants of “Which lives matter? Black lives matter,” and reciting the litany of names of those who have been killed and victimized by systemic racism, from Emmett Till to Breonna Taylor.

The marchers went around the barricades set up for Walkable Main Street, proceeding around the fountain  toward the Edmonds Historical Museum.

The march was followed by additional activities including creation of chalk art and a rally with speeches.

Speaking to the crowd, Mikayla Weary explained that the group intentionally chose the Edmonds Historical Museum as the rally location, noting that “housing and redlining pretty much explain how Edmonds is Edmonds today.”

“Edmonds is made up of a majority of upper class white residents and that is not coincidental. This is a part of history that prohibited minority residents from the day it was founded,” she said.

Much of Edmonds’ history regarding racism is unknown, but recent actions prove it still exists, she said. Weary specifically pointed to the vandalizing in July of the “I Can’t Breathe” artwork at Civic Field and the incident two years ago near Harvey’s Lounge, when Weary and her older brother were “chased off the property…while being called the n-word.”

Christabel Jamison, an 18-year-old Edmonds-Woodway High School graduate who created the “I Can’t Breathe” art said the defacement of her artwork so it read “I Can Breathe” — “just goes to show us what someone in our town is willing to do in order to snuff out our pain and outrage, which in reality is their attempt to keep their comfortable level of ignorance and privilege, by ignoring and discrediting the injustices and systemic racism that we have fought for centuries.”

“I am flat out tired of seeing Black men and women being abused and killed by police,”Jamison said, “while their murderers go home to a nice warm dinner and are allowed to go to work the next day.”

Also speaking was Mikayla Weary’s mother Darnesha Weary, who urged those who support the Black Lives Matter movement to be vocal, stand up for injustices, and hold friends and family “accountable for their racist actions, for their words, for their jokes.”

Rather than go home and post on social media after observing an incident of racial injustice, she encouraged those in the crowd to act while the event is happening — “Walk up and say ‘How can I help?” she said.

“Do the work. That’s the level we’re asking you for,” Darnesha Weary added.

— Story by Larry Vogel and Teresa Wippel





  1. I am inspired by this march, our young people. My heart is always with u. I live not far from the bowl. I put the Justice sign in my yard. Finally after seeing a courageous neighbor put up a BLACK LIVES MATTER sign. I bought a sign and put it front and center. There was some fear. Then my neighbors across the street put up one and then a third neighbor in my cul de sac installed one. Then I saw another a couple blocks over. We all need to be brave like our kids! Thanks to all you young people who never give into fear but seek justice for all. March on!

  2. It was a honor to be able to support the Black youth and all the Black people in our community by participating in this march. Thank you to all organizers – in particular Mikayla Weary!

  3. This was such a great event! Thank you to the organizers, Seattle Youth for Change and BLM Seattle, for getting us all together. As a community we need to do more to speak up against racism. BIPOC people do not feel welcome and safe in Edmonds. Case in point, right after the rally ended, a couple people not wearing masks came in and starting shoving attendees. There was a truck stalking the group, too, and the truck had Trump stickers on it. This is unacceptable!

  4. I think the media has a done great job of brainwashing these youth into believing that these criminals that have been shot was somehow due to the color of their skin rather than their actions or activities they were engaged in. And then lumping anyone that has been shot into the same category, all while ignoring the facts of each case. Also ignored are the real FBI facts that 54% of all robberies, 53% of all murders, and 37% of all violent crimes are committed by a race that makes up less than 13% of the population. How about some racial equality there?

    When you analyze the actual data of the people committing the crimes, you are twice as likely to be shot if you are not black. But the media will only blast the news if it is a white cop or person, shooting a black person, and then try to justify that it was only based on the color of their skin. If they all received the same attention, it would paint a much different story. But that wouldn’t fit their agenda, would it?

    Where is the outrage, where is the news, what are the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS players all saying about this?


    1. We can see this right here in Edmonds — my predominately white neighborhood still has racial covenants written into the deeds, that prevented any non-white people from living there into the 40s. Though they legally can’t be enforced anymore, they have yet to be removed, which is no way to welcome new POC neighbors. Just like redlining in Seattle pushed black and brown residents to undesirable neighborhoods and discrimination in employment and higher education prevented them from being able to build generational wealth that would’ve aided the success of today’s youth, Edmonds has its own share of inequality and racism built into its foundation. This is what we mean when we say systemic racism. As for the pro athletes, their protest does account for this disparity in crime rates — they are protesting systemic racism in general and unfair policing practices (Black neighborhoods are over policed, so they’ve got higher crime rates; white perpetrators are under-charged, so they’ve got lower crime rates). I’d like to end with the fact that Breonna Taylor was woken up in the middle of the night and shot. Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog. Jacob Blake was walking to his car. These actions do NOT warrant death.

      I’d love to Zoom call you so we can talk about this further, because I’ve got a lot more to say.

    2. Hi Joe! *This is the first part of my comment, it didn’t go through so please read this first!* Don’t higher crime rates among a particular race surprise you, especially when numerous studies have found that beyond some cosmetic things (like skin tone, obviously), there isn’t a genetic difference between people of different races? So it must not be that their race predisposes Black folks to crime, but that it predisposes Black folks to situations that lead to more crime among all races (like poverty, hunger, lack of community mental/physical health resources, etc.).

        1. I’m glad you have a personal anecdote about your lack of crime. Let it be known that you cited a white nationalist source. A few clicks on their website makes this VERY clear. Folks, white nationalism is alive and well right here in Edmonds, proving the message of yesterday’s rally yesterday that our neighborly Edmonds is not so neighborly to our residents of color. It’s clear there’s no use in engaging in conversation with someone as far gone as yourself.

          To MyEdmondsNews, while I fully believe in the freedom of the press and the ability of the public to express their opinion, it would be worth your time to address the fact that white nationalists are in your comment section to prevent this from dangerously influencing other Edmonds residents.

        2. I am against white nationalism and black nationalism. Chinatown residents (name just about any city that has a Chinatown) are typically poorer and seem to always have very little crime. You find sources if you don’t like mine. I’m not a very good racist when I point out that poor Asians Americans somehow know how to behave themselves.

    3. Joe, what makes the statistics you’re referencing worse is that those numbers rely on the individual actually be being caught and convicted. Black-on-black crime is often ignored, even though it is the lion’s share of homicides when the victim is of color. Most murder cold-cases have a black victim. The real disparity in the criminal justice system is that black murderers are much less lightly caught. Alexander Rhodes is a local case study in this regard. Sampling the race of murderers who were caught, and interpolating the race of the murderer for those that are unsolved, it might be fair to say that most black murderers are never caught. 40% of all murders in the United States are unsolved, most predominantly in urban communities.

    4. Oh yikes. Joe, you need to read about the history of police in this country. Your racist arguments are rooted in ignorance.

      1. Racist arguments rooted in ignorance? Read the history of the DNC. Origins do matter, and provide context. Are we always supposed to use a contemporary lens (like when we say George Washington is a racist slave owner), or are we always supposed to apply morally relative view (like when we say the Democrats who voted against all the Civil Rights Acts and nominated Klansmen for POTUS aren’t the same Democrats today)?

    5. Hi Joe,

      There are 5.7 times as many white people than Black people in the US, yet Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police.

      A variety of factors contribute to these disproportionate levels of death and the reported numbers of crime you mentioned. One such factor is socioeconomic inequality between BIPOC and white communities (which persists due to systemic racism); this is preyed upon by policing strategies. Such strategies include broken windows policing and over-policing BIPOC communities. Other contributing factors include racial profiling and implicit biases. These can negatively impact interactions between a police officer and Black person versus a police officer and a white person, as proven by studies where the conditions that made up the encounters were otherwise identical.

      You actually pointed to why (albeit, unwittingly) there has been a call to reallocate funding for police into other community resources (known in shorthand as “defund the police”). No matter an individual police officer’s charitable or noble intentions, racial or ethnic background, etc. they are still expected to carry out unjust strategies within the policing system.

      1. You can’t simply take all white people and all black people and throw them into a who gets killed by police argument. You must take from the sub-group of those actually committing those crimes and those that put themselves into the position in the first place to be shot based on their actions, and reactions to that situation when approached by the police. All the crime in the US is committing by less than 10% of population which proves your argument is false. So when you look at the people that are committing the crimes, you are twice as likely to get shot if you are not black. Those are undisputed and verified facts.

        1. Joe, Exactly. What happened to Philando Castile disgusts everyone. He was obeying the law and being responsible. His girl friend and her daughter are heros. Lumping Philando into the pantheon of false prophets, such as George Floyd, is stereotyping. Floyd held a gun up to a woman’s belly and threatened to shoot the baby inside. I wouldnt let him around my kids, dont want my kids shopping at Terri’s Toybox here in town because they feature George Floyd in their window. Each case deserves individual attention and respect.

      2. “There are 5.7 times as many white people than Black people in the US, yet Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police.”

        There are more poor white people in this country than there are black people of all economic levels combined. It is not simply a function of being poor that makes a subset of the black population create crime at a level far in excess of their population number.

        Black males being involved in violent crime at a number larger than their percentage of the population is not just happening in one country, it is global. Slavery in America and everything following is not the cause of black crime in Switzerland and Japan.

        An outsized number of crimes by black males brings with it more contacts with cops, through sheer numbers some bad outcomes happen because people are not perfect. When enough people are willing to stop make excuses so they can feel better about themselves and hold this group to the same standard they hold themselves black deaths will be reduced.

        Would you violently resist arrest, if not then don’t excuse someone else violently resisting arrest, treat them as your equal and expect them to have the same ability to make good choices instead of bad.

  5. Maybe instead of throwing out a bunch of facts and figures from different sources Matt and Joe, you listen to what Black people and POC are saying and trying to communicate right here in our community. Shouldn’t we be listening to what they are asking for here? To be understood, listened to and taken seriously here in Edmonds. Basically you are saying that their voices and feelings don’t matter or have legitimacy when clearly they do to them and the people who support them. This is about respecting how people feel and not telling them how they ought to feel or what to believe. Those days should be long gone but sadly they are not. The only way forward is to come together and listen.

    1. Let’s listen to POC. 81% of POC want the same amount or more policing in their neighborhood.

      I went to Alexander Rhodes’ vigil. I listened. I didn’t see the Mayor there, or the City Council, or the Diversity Committee. I feel like I am listening. I cried over Secoria Turner. I listened to Donnie Griffin on the Diversity Committee cry over someone assuming he wanted a chicken pizza. Not all voices are equal.

      1. Matt, while so many have differing opinions. I must say, you walk the walk, as well as talk the talk. You always present a valid argument with facts. So many others are just emotional blather. I appreciate you taking the time to educate so many.

    2. The reason they feel the way they do goes to my very first sentence. They have been brainwashed my the media. If you are black, and feel you are being hunted by the police then the media has done their job. Our facts prove how ridiculous it is to feel that way. And if you do, then get away from CNN and MSNBC and see what’s really out there.

      1. Joe, we haven’t been brainwashed by the media, and that’s a ridiculous talking point!

        We’ve read books. We’ve learned about the racist history of police in this country, like how police departments were built on enforcing slave codes. We’ve talked to BIPOC in our community, in our family, in our friend circle. Learning doesn’t just stop when you leave high school. We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves on the history of racism in this country. If you refuse to do so, I don’t know how we can move forward as a society.

        1. To all – predictably this has devolved with no end in sight. I did let Rowan refer to those he disagrees with as racist. I also let Matt Richardson call Alicia Crank anti-white a few days ago. I’m not thrilled with either label but am trying to give people a chance to vent. At this point this discussion is not serving a purpose other than venting. So the thread is closed.

    1. Rowan, your comment added nothing to the conversation. If other differing opinions are not to your liking you call them “racist”? Then close your comment with a “heart”?

      1. In my opinion not supporting blm is racist, also as an organizer I gave my contact info. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

      2. Grace, I think it’s really wonderful of Rowan to offer up their email address for further dialogue! That’s something that wasn’t there before. From what I heard at the rally, Rowan would be an awesome person to learn from.

    2. When did MEN start letting commenters call other people racist? Emojis aren’t usually allowed either. Was this commenter “special”?

      1. Linda, speaking for the real Men Id say we should let people express their opinions, within limits.
        Even race baiting trolls might have something to teach us right? [insert lol emoji here]

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