The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, on top of four hundred years of systemic racism, has sparked global protests against police brutality. Marin activists have organized Black Lives Matter demonstrations throughout the county. On June, 2 at least 1,000 people gathered peacefully in the Marin City shopping center and marched down Donahue to Golden Gate Village on Drake Avenue.
Residents from the floating homes—from Issaquah to Main to the Charles Van Damme Dock—gathered in the new park to walk over together. “I was proud to bear witness,” said John Ryan of Issaquah. “Highway 101 was backed up for miles with people trying to join.”
The Marin City Our Voice, Our Movement was organized by local residents, including Ayana Morgan-Woodard, 21, a recent graduate of Tuskegee University. Morgan-Woodard stressed that this was only the beginning. “We want better relationships with the police. We want unity within the school district,” Morgan-Woodard said. “We want solidarity in ALL the generations in Marin City. We cannot do this alone.”
Main Dock resident Ann Le, carrying a sign that said “Asians4BlackLives,” showed up. “Racism is real right here, where we live. It happens almost every day in the Waldo Point Harbor parking lot, where police cars patrol black residents leaving Marin City,” said Le. “It exists on our houseboat docks, when as an Asian woman, I am stopped and questioned about whether I have someone to visit. I, at least, don’t fear the police being called.”
Ali Johnston, who wore two masks and kept her distance as much as possible, was proud to participate in the protest in Marin City. “Marin has a lot of work to do,” Johnston said. “This felt like a step in the right direction, and I’m proud of the youth who put it together.”
Le agreed. “Hard work needs to happen in our own hearts and homes, then on our docks, then beyond to Sausalito, Marin County. We have to do better for Black lives.”
The conversation has only begun. To get involved, consider volunteering with or donating to these local organizations:
Arts+ Bayside MLK, Jr Foundation: Arts+ is committed to inspiring and empowering students to achieve educational excellence through engagement in the visual and performing arts.
Bridge the Gap: Founded in 1995, Bridge the Gap College Prep is a college preparatory and youth development organization that provides programming aimed at preparing Marin City students for college success.
Conscious Kitchen: Piloted in Marin City, Conscious Kitchen addresses food equity, education, and access by shifting the paradigm around school food service, while cultivating a local, ecological food system, and building nutrition literacy into meals.
Friends of the Marin City Library: The Friends of the Marin City Library provide support and funding for library improvement projects and a variety of programs offered by dedicated library staff.
Hannah Freedom School: Since 2010, the Hannah Project has operated a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School in Marin City, a research-based summer enrichment program that helps children and youth fall in love with reading, boost self-esteem, and generate more positive attitudes toward learning.
Performing Stars: Founded in 1990, Performing Stars believes that providing involvement in art, music, theater and other enrichment opportunities for low income and at-risk children will help them “reach for the stars.”
Play Marin: A nonprofit about PLAY that envisions Marin as an integrated and unified community where both individuals and families live, work and most importantly, play together.
Read more in the Marin IJ: Marin City Multitude Protests George Floyd Atrocity