Weekend Events Will Continue Conversation on Race, Policing

Organizers aim for awareness, discussion in EC, Menomonie

Rebecca Mennecke, photos by Luong Huynh |

Participants in a Black Lives Matter rally and march on Friday, June 4, in Eau Claire.
Participants in a Black Lives Matter rally and march on Friday, June 4, in Eau Claire.

Rights for All: A Conversation on Race and Mass Incarceration

Saturday, June 13, 7:30-9:30pm, Owen Park, Eau Claire

David Carlson – the Eau Claire County regional organizer for the ACLU’s Rights for All Campaign – is among those slated to present at “Rights for All: A Conversation on Race and Mass Incarceration,” a live discussion from 7:30-9:30pm on Saturday, June 13, at Owen Park in Eau Claire. The gathering will be an effort to spark conversations in the Eau Claire community about race, mass incarceration, and voting.

“People are really rallied right now,” Carlson said. “We’re just not willing to let this moment pass.”

“People are really rallied right now. We’re just not willing to let this moment pass.” –David Carlson, ACLU regional organizer

Organized by the Eau Claire Justice League, this event seeks to inform the community about lesser-known facts about law enforcement systems, incarceration, and voting rights – and how those systems pertain to race. Carlson specifically will highlight High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area designations, he said, and the ways in which they are problematic for the community.

“This is something that I want to bring to light,” he said.

Jaylin Carlson, an Eau Claire native who has been a leader in the protests and rallies around the Chippewa Valley for Black Lives Matter, organized the Eau Claire Justice League recently with her partner, Sam Alioto.

“It’s just like a ripe age of a week and a half,” she said.

The organization is intended to be an “information hub” for documentaries, music, articles, podcasts, books, and additional information to support the Black Lives Matter movement. They also hope to support local black-owned businesses, she said. The organization is perfect for people who want to support the movement but may not have the funds to contribute.

Saturday’s event will be streamed online at 3pm through Zoom (a link will be made available at their Facebook page), and will be repeated in person at 7:30pm at Owen Park, Jaylin Carlson said. At 7:30pm, people will be available to help attendees get registered to vote and learn more about voting. Popcorn and light refreshments will be available to enjoy. Starting at 8:30pm, David Carlson will present.

Also slated to speak is Sean Wilson, an ACLU member who, according to the event Facebook page, has been personally affected by “the injustices that plague our criminal justice system.” There will be a Q&A panel following the presentations for anyone with questions.

Organizers encourage attendees to wear face masks and bring hand sanitizer to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“What we want to focus on is having a conversation about race and law enforcement,” Jaylin Carlson said.

As a biracial individual, David Carlson said he has been “moving back and forth” when it comes to the current racial climate in the United States, but he said white people and black people have a different approach. He said he has had family members that have died as a result of gun violence and drug-related issues.

“In the white community, it’s statistics and data,” he said. “This is our lives we’re talking about.”

Menomonie United Against Racism

Sunday, June 14, 5-8pm, Broadway & Main Street, Menomonie

Amplify the People, a new Menomonie-based protest, is organizing a rally from 5-8pm on Sunday, June 14, at the corner of Broadway and Main Street in Menomonie.

Organizer Aidan Raney said in a Facebook post that they have been coordinating with the Menomonie Police Department to ensure they know this is a peaceful protest.

“This is a peaceful protest,” Raney said. “If there are any trouble makers or non-peaceful actors there, they are NOT part of our group. And they should not come, because we do not want you here!”

There will be a live Facebook stream held on the Stout Student Association Facebook page so anyone who cannot attend can watch in solidarity.

“We hope to see lots of Menomonie community members there,” Raney said, “and we also encourage members of outside communities nearby – like Eau Claire, Cedar Falls, Knapp, Wheeler, and Elk Mound – anyone who can make it and wants to support change against police brutality and support racial equality.”

The group is looking to establish themselves as a more formal organization, according to their Facebook page, and they are looking for community members to join Amplify the People. If interested, email contact@amplifythepeople.com.

The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering an ensuring six-foot social distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

More information is available at the event Facebook page.