Two former Indiana Pacers and Fever players and Butler University’s head basketball coach joined a demonstration Sunday to encourage voter registration and protest police brutality.
A few hundred gathered first at the Indiana Statehouse to protest officer-involved shootings. The event was organized by Black Women In Charge – a group of six college and high school students focused on community organizing and ending systemic racism.
The group’s Yasmine Anderson says the goal was to shift the focus of protests on legislation.
"The focus recently has been on one, protesting, which is great but its not all you can do," she says.
“I am Dreasjon Reed” followed by “I am George Floyd” and “I am Trayvon Martin” and others. pic.twitter.com/zaOuZCePQv— Darian Benson (@HelloImDarian) June 14, 2020
WNBA star and current Indiana Fever general manager Tamika Catchings joined the demonstration along with former Indiana Pacers player and Broad Ripple High School graduate George Hill and current Butler basketball head coach LaVall Jordan.
Catchings says it is important for public figures to encourage people to vote.
"But you’re going to be the ones that are going to lead this charge and lead us into that next generation, and we need you guys to step up," she says.
The crowd marched from the Indiana Statehouse to the Indiana War Memorial. LaVall Jordan spoke after the demonstration reached the Indiana War Memorial.
“Accountability builds commitment. We need to hold ourselves accountable in our own community. Have that conversation that will lead to change," Jordan says. "Right now history is happening. The question becomes, for all of us, what part of history will you play?”
Butler Univeristy head coach LaVall Jordan speaking now. “There’s a pain that will turn into a passion that will lead us to action.” pic.twitter.com/9NltloPPND— Darian Benson (@HelloImDarian) June 14, 2020
At both the War Memorial and Statehouse, volunteers were set up to register people to vote. Organizers urged young protesters not only to register to vote, but also to volunteer as poll workers. For the May primary, Marion County had 22 vote centers open. During the 2018 election, Marion County had nearly 650,000 registered voters. It usually has more than 250 vote centers.
Catchings has been outspoken in the past against police brutality, joining former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of taking a knee during the national anthem.
Catchings, Hill and Jordan will be joined by other community and faith leaders during the demonstration.
This story has been updated.