NAPLES, Fla. — Everyone has something they’re passionate about. For a few teens and young adults of Collier County, it’s equality, for all.
Member of the Collier Youth for Black Lives Organization and others started at the Collier County Courthouse making their way down busy intersections in Naples, showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s similar to demonstrations taking place in Portland, Oregon, and more.
At the U.S. Borders and Customs office at the Naples Municipal Airport, is where they expressed their frustration with I.C.E and the Collier County Sheriffs Program 287g.
Joshua Mckie tells me he is out here to support friends he believes are treated unfairly.
“ I do have friends that are close to me that weren’t born in the United States, and you know they can’t receive scholarships, they’ve had to defer pursuing their educations. So you know I’m here to support my friends, my close friends, that are immigrants and the people that I don’t know because at the end of the day, were all American” said Mckie, a social worker.
Jemeson Ciprius grew up in Collier County and says not all schools receive the same funding, and he wants a change.
“ I definitely feel like having money reallocated to those schools, can help those schools progress more, and I’ve been a product of that going to a lot of the schools in Naples being like one of the only black students in the classroom, and I felt like, in a sense kind of, segregated,” said Ciprius.
Chris Charlestin says, living in a minority community, he lives in fear of law enforcement, and he’s speaking up for his neighbors.
“Despite our small numbers you really see people who are out here fighting the good fight,” said Charlestin.
This youth-led demonstration shows the fight is far from over, and these young adults in Collier County say they want to change for a community they call home.
“ I think anybody who comes here who works hard who takes care of their family, who benefits the economy I think that they are American,” said Mckie.
“You know it’s all about solidarity, but you know we see people who are for the Black Lives Matter movement, and we see people who are against the 287g. so it’s like different groups coming together to support the same cause which is equality and equal treatment” said Mckie.