‘Potluck protest’ celebrates message

Local students were involved in a “Protest Potluck” in Dallas. Photo by Telissa Mitchell

Tallahassee citizens have  been actively protesting about the unlawful crimes against Black lives from police brutality, unequal rights, and white on black crime due to racism in the capital city and across the United States.

 In Tallahassee, it was a shocking stream of violence within 24 hours leaving one person dead and three others severely injure —all African Americans — the week of May 25.

Rainer Abbott, a senior criminal justice major at Florida State University, said,People protest as a form of expression. I agree with protesting because it is our constitutional right and it is needed within the Tallahassee community because of the constant racism, sex trafficking and police brutality. The constant killings are tragic, Tallahassee Police Department should want to buckle down and investigate the murders instead of spending all that time trying to arrest people for petty crimes such as selling marijuana,”  Abbott said.

Telissa Mitchell, a senior pre-law student and founder of a Black Lives Matter peaceful protesting group in Tallahassee and Miami, spoke out about the constant violence against African Americans.  Everyone’s life should be treated equally, she said. She also believes that protesting is an effective  way to change the justice system. She said  she was in charge of passing out 1,000 pre-packed bags a day. The protesting bag included milk for tear gas, water for dehydration, turkey or ham sandwiches for protein, and small Gatorade for electrolytes.

Ayana Holmes, an active member of the local protesting group, says protein and nutrients are important before and after protesting. It is important that all ages and races are healthy supporting such a powerful movement, she said.

 I do believe that it is a good thing to have protein while protesting because protesting takes a lot of you energy,  especially if you are chanting. When someone is actively protesting it usually involves walking or marching a long distance for a lengthy period of time. It is important to have protein so that you will be able to go the distance while protesting instead of running out of energy and possibly fainting,” Holmes said.

It is very important that her act of service serves as a part of the peaceful protest movement and it is noticed because it has helped out many members of the Tallahassee and Miami communities. FAMU, FSU, and TCC students look forward to passing her tent during the protest because of her vibrant spirit and drive for the community to make a change for the Black community.

 Mitchell’s protesting group plans to open up a GoFundMe account for donations and have fundraisers to travel nationally and connect with other groups similar to hers.

Mitchell connected and planned the Potluck Protest” with her family member Deah Berry Mitchell, who has years of activism, leadership and community service in the Dallas area. They combined their acts of service to hold the first event that took place on at Reverchon Park in Dallas. The purpose of the event was to encourage and show thanks to protesters for their right to stand with equality, justice, and Black Lives Matter movement and also to support small and large food business in the Dallas community that may have suffered from financial disadvantages during the global pandemic.

“Although we are going through a lot right now in society, we will fight for what is right and we will get through it by helping others have justice. My vision was founded on helping others stay healthy during this powerful movement for precious Black lives that matter,” Telissa Mitchell said.

We protest to vocalize how we feel about situations in hopes to achieve change. I am overjoyed with the success of the first potluck protest in hopes of partnering with more similar groups and making continuous impacts to black lives daily,”  Mitchell said.