A lot of people believe that the Black Lives Matter protests are starting to wain and another issue will emerge and take over the news cycle.  Other people strongly believe that won't happen this time.

To say that the past few months have been unlike another is putting it mildly.  First the global pandemic and now, at the same time, a global protest.  Imagine the Spanish flu during the civil rights movement of the late 60s going on at once.  I realize that there could be an "apples & oranges" analogy here because we live in different times.

We certainly weren't prepared for the Coronavirus but we can be prepared for the protests taking place right here in Kalamazoo.  I'm not talking about just safety from possible violence but also preparation to participate.

In the last couple of weeks I've had the pleasure of getting feedback from some very passionate older teens and those in their early 20s.  These are many of the people who have taken to the streets to peacefully express their frustration and call for change and I want them to be prepared in every way not just intellectually.

I read an article from Lauren Harris a New York City mom about preparing to take part and I agree with many of them.  For instance:

- Wear A Mask- I'm afraid people have completely forgotten that we still have a pandemic to worry about.

-Wear Goggles Or Some Form Of Eye Protection- There may be tear gas, thrown objects or even rubber bullets.

-Bring A Basic First Aid Kit- See above

- Go With Friends- You know the old saying that there is safety in numbers.  There are bad actors at many of these events.

-Always Be Aware Of Your Surroundings- This is one that I think is most important if, like me, you have a 20 year old daughter.

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