Small peaceful protest with big voices in Corning


CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – The community came together in Corning earlier this morning to protest following the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

18 News spoke to the protesters to see why they came out to support.

“I’m out here to compel, to be visible and compel those that known me in the community to action,” said Jeanette Vaughn, a Corning pastor.

The organizer of the protest, “Peaceful Protest to End Racism”, Kyla Sotomayer, said she needed to take action in her community – Corning.

“We have said that we are you know, there’s no racism and that we’re culturally diverse,” said Sotomayer. “We live in a predominantly white community and we live in a predominantly white world.”

Vaughn said she’s faced challenges while living in this area.

“As an African American female in this community I have encounters of discrimination, you know what, no more will I sit silent,” stated Vaughn.

However, she draws the line when it comes down to her family’s safety.

“It is not okay, and so therefore I have five children that grew up in this community but if [one of my children or husband] put a hoodie on or if he put a hat on, he is treated like an animal is not acceptable,” exclaimed Vaughn. “No more.”

Sotomayer also describes how Floyd’s death has impacted her and her family.

“It hurts my heart, my daughter and I actually had a moment on the phone last night about crying,” laments Sotomayer. “Living in a predominantly Southern black community, we’ve never allowed racism in our home.”

“I would just like for people to switch in our spot just for one day. Just one day. Just one day,” said Vaughn.

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