Erie Action is an activist group taking steps to spotlight the issue of racism in America.
The group formed following the death of George Floyd. Multiple groups were also formed following Floyd’s death including Erie Equal.
The message this group is trying to send is that there are not two Americas, there is only one and they say many of us would need to come together for the better.
It’s been one year since George Floyd was murdered at the hands of Minneapolis Police.
His death sparked conversations about police brutality and social justice.
It spawned protests, marches, and vigils across the nation, around the world, and of course here in Erie.
Rob Umpleby is a member of the group Erie Action. He said that the anniversary vigil is to remember not only Floyd, but countless other men and women of color.
“Those of us who think we are luckiest stars who have not walked that mile, we’ve decided okay we want to do something about it,” said Rob Umpleby, Member of Erie Action.
Umpleby said that after seeing the ten minute video of Floyd’s death, he had to take action.
“I made the decision that it was time to stop being so quiet and become part of the solution. Otherwise I have no right to call any person of color my friend,” said Umpleby.
Andria Stellmack is the founder of Erie Action. She said that she felt compelled to be a voice.
Stellmack said that many of her counterparts have to do more listening than talking.
“Once you see it in your own eyes and you can’t figure out a way to fix it, that’s when you’ll feel really helpless,” said Andria Stelmack, Founder of Erie Action.
Both say that there are still racial disparities in America.
“As long as we have racial disparities that’s measured by the federal government and organizations, we’re not done,” said Umpleby.
“It’s becoming more difficult for people to turn a blind eye to the systemic racism and the fact that it sure looks like there’s two different Americas going on here,” said Stelmack.
Erie Action said that having their members in taking political positions in Erie are the steps in the right direction.
The group would also host food drives for communities of color as a way to combat those racial disparities.