Say what you want about Korryn Gaines but, her passing brought many people together and brought awareness to other important issues that we may not have paid attention to before. I’ll be the first, or maybe the 100th, to say that we need unity in this country and the world more than ever. Many people don’t have faith in things such as media and religion like they used to because it has caused more division than togetherness. Prime example, the execution of 23-year-old Korryn Gaines. Gaines was killed during a police standoff last week and her son, Kodi Gaines, was shot and wounded. Many speculations emerged from the incident. People from all over were blurting out information with very little facts which caused debates and more confusion. On the brighter side, it has caused people to do necessary research when it comes to laws and how they affect us. The day that it happened myself and my best friends, headed to Baltimore City College which is the high-school that we attended as well as Korryn and met with some her classmates and friends. We discussed Korryn‘s death and what we could do to help her family cope through such a traumatic time.
Karl Keels, Shawnnay Owens, and members of Baltimore Bloc were firm about doing everything that they could to keep Korryn Gaines‘ name in a positive spotlight. Days after her death, Karl, and Milly Vanderwood, co-owner of Give & Take: An Artistic Experience, teamed up so that a discussion about Korryn could happen. This was to analyze what happened to her and how we could avoid it happening to anyone else. The discussion was very informative as people in the room decided to share information about laws and about how not to be taken advantage of in the name of these laws.
From this discussion, a candlelight vigil followed at Baltimore City College days later. This was put together by the friends of Korryn. I attended, not only in support of Gaines, but to gain information so that when I speak on her name, I would actually know what I am talking about and be able to inform others. Her father, cousin, and friends were some of the people who spoke on her behalf, describing Korryn as someone who was educated, firm in what she believed in, and a woman who had a good heart. Emotions poured out as the vigil went on and I asked myself , ” How could people be so insensitive about a person who they didn’t even know?” What I’ve seen on social media about this woman has been disappointing. The fact that social media has given us a platform to say what we want is a gift and a curse.
This past weekend we gathered again. Karl Keels, Benjamin Jancewicz , and Milly Vanderwood put together a pop-up event where we discussed Korryn. Arts and crafts were sold and the future was discussed. All proceeds from the event went to the Gaines’ family. There will be another discussion this week as we try to come up with solutions for the issues we face daily so that there will not be another situation like the one that took Korryn Gaines from her family and friends.
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