VENTURA, Calif. - Dozens of Ventura County residents gathered at Ventura City Hall Saturday afternoon to rally in support of the black community and to honor the life of George Floyd.
It all started when 23-year-old Paige Kelly, a recent graduate from Marquette University in Wisconsin, decided that she wanted to show the African American community that she, as a white woman, supports them in their grieving.
Kelly said the group rally came together unintentionally.
She said that she spent some time educating herself on anti-racism and ways the white population can support black Americans after hearing about George Floyd's death on Monday.
One thing Kelley said stood out to her during her research was the recurring theme that people of color are exhausted. She said whenever something big happens, white people tend to ask people of color and organizations what they can do to support, but that is a big burden to put on the already grieving community.
So Kelly decided to take matters into her own hands and take action.
Kelly said her initial intention was to sit on the steps of city hall alone, but others said they wanted to join her.
"I told my friends and family I'm gonna go and sit on the steps of city hall and express solidarity with neighbors of my community who are people of color and try to break white silence on racial issues because it perpetuates and leaves a lot of room for the continuing of racial injustices," Kelly said.
So a date and time were set for a peaceful and silent demonstration. Friends and family spread the word and expressed gratitude that the community is able to gather and make a statement in this way.
At 3 p.m., everyone showed up at city hall with signs and masks and peacefully rallied in support of the black community.