CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – People of all color and ages joined in solidarity for a Black Lives Matter march in Corning at 1 p.m.
One of the march organizers, Jaedyn Filkins, cried tears of joy from the amount of support she saw from her community.
“There’s well over 50 people here,” said Filkins. “I’m sorry… It blows my mind… It’s a beautiful sight honestly.”
Hundreds of community members lined Corning City hall. People from all over the Twin Tiers like Elmira residents, Pennsylvania residents and, of course, Corning residents.
One local pastor, Jeanette Vaughn, said she’s never felt this type of unity in the community until this march.
“For 21 years to live here, serve in this community, pay taxes,” said Vaughn. “And it took a gathering like this for me to feel like I was a part of the community.”
A diverse group of people showed up to support the Black Lives Matter movement and all marched in peaceful unity. The Corning Police Department even aided the march and blocked off streets.
The Elmira/Corning NAACP branch president, Georgia Verdier, said she’s marched during the civil rights marches. She’s glad the younger generation doesn’t have to go through what she did in the past marches.
“I was involved in the NAACP and the civil rights marches,” said Verdier. “As we go back in time, we had to be prepared to resist any negativity that might occur, so I’m excited to see that the young people are out here marching and they didn’t go through what we have gone through. But the marches have been peaceful so that is a real positive sign.”
Filkins, one of the march organizers, reinforces her thoughts on the movement.
“Everybody from different races coming together that’s what we want, like I said it’s not black verses white,” stated Filkins. “It’s everyone versus racism. And that’s what we’re fighting for.”>
Domari Greene, the organizer of peaceful BLM protests in Elmira, said everyone needs to do their part.
“Step in. If you’re silent. You’re just as guilty,” said Greene.