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Community leaders gather to take a knee and call for racial justice

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Community leaders take and knee to call for racial justice and an end to racism.
Community leaders take and knee to call for racial justice and an end to racism.

MADISON (WKOW) -- Community leaders gathered at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County today to take a knee and call for justice after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Rep. Sheila Stubbs and the family of Tony Robinson were among many speakers who called on the community to come together to work for racial justice and an end to racism.

At the end, law enforcement officers, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, Acting Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl, Micheal Johnson, president of the Boys and Girls Clubs and others joined in taking a knee while observing a moment of silence.

The event comes a day after Johnson and the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County announced they were hiring a group of young people to act as "Peace Keepers" to provide support and guidance for the community as we navigate a time of racial tension.

In a post Wednesday morning, Johnson said they will hire 75 people who will be trained by Madison School Board President Gloria Reyes and Antony Cooper, a leader in the Madison area.

Johnson said they decided to start the program after watching videos of adults not associated with the protest encouraging young people to commit crimes and wanted to ensure we are providing an extra layer of support to our young protesters.

However not everyone was supportive of the idea. Outside, a small group of protesters said they opposed the program and that it would put youth in harm's way.

They also called for the ouster of Johnson as the leader of the Boys and Girls Clubs.

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Dan Plutchak

Social Media and Digital Content Manager, 27 News

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