Moett Cabrera, one of the organizers of Saturday’s march, walks across the Interboro Bridge to Stroudsburg from East Stroudsburg. [JOE MCDONALD/POCONO RECORD]
STROUDSBURG - About 1,000 people joined a student-led march in the Poconos on Saturday against a video by a Stroudsburg High School student who argued "white people" should be able to use the "N word" in a social media posting that was quickly condemned by school district officials and community leaders.
The march, organized by Ezuka Ogbolo, Kaleigh Williams, Kourtney Woods and Moett Cabrera, all seniors, began in East Stroudsburg at Dansbury Park and ended at Stroudsburg High School.
The student who made the video, who has not been identified because she is a minor, wanted to attend the march and "make an apology" but the offer was declined, the organizers said.
"It’s not the right time because emotions are running so high," Woods said. Cabrera, holding a "No Justice, No Peace, Black Lives Matter" sign agreed, saying, "You have to give people time to heal."
The march brought together a cross-section of the community with people of different races and ages who kneeled in solidarity at the high school.
Police estimated the crowd at slightly more than 1,000, about half the size of a march earlier in the week against racism and police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man, who died while having his neck pinned to the ground by the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer, who has been charged with homicide.
At the Saturday march, which police said went off without any problems, some chanted "Get your knees off our necks," while holding "Black Lives Matter" signs.
Saturday’s march marked the third event against racism in a week in Stroudsburg. Another protest is scheduled Sunday starting at 4 p.m. in Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg. Protesters will march through the borough, according to a poster for the event, before returning to the park for speeches.
The event has been organized by Adam Rodriguez, a Democratic candidate for state representative, and Caseem Johnson, who was also the force behind a peaceful march on Monday from East Stroudsburg to the Monroe County Courthouse.
"Demands will be made," reads the poster. "Justice will be served. Change must happen."
At the Stroudsburg Area School District, Superintendent Cosmas Curry has said there will be changes and appropriate action will be taken.
He said the district will implement sensitivity training and cultural awareness to everyone in response to the video, which he has condemned.
"It does not reflect who we are as a district," he said.