OneFargo event celebrates efforts toward change in the Fargo-Moorhead community
Organizers of the event say they decided to plan the celebration rather than a protest because of the willingness of city leaders and police to listen and work with them towards a better future.
FARGO, N.D. — Saturday’s protest in downtown Fargo was a plea for change; a way to ask for more open dialogue amongst those in our area on what can be done to better support the black community.
In the days since, that discussion has began between city leaders, Fargo Police, and protest organizers.
It is a small step, but those organizers finally feel like someone is listening.
“We have been met with an overwhelming amount of support and engagement from Mayor Mahoney, Mayor Judd, Police Chief Todd as well as countless other elected officials,” said organizer Wess Philome. “They are ready and willing to help bring about the change that is yet to come.”
As another stride toward that change, organizers have planned a OneFargo celebration on Friday.
What was originally scheduled to be a second protest that included a peaceful sit-in at City Hall, is now an event designed to thank supporters and to celebrate the work that has already been accomplished.
“A lot of people on social media are asking ‘what are we celebrating?'” revealed organizer Ritchell Aboah. “We are celebrating the fact that we protested in a Republican state and we got our voices heard.”
The event will take place only at Island Park at one o’clock.
Organizers say no violence or negativity will be tolerated. Rather than marching through the streets, people will be engaging in meaningful conversation.
“I encourage people to put down their signs. I encourage them to leave things that aren’t welcome at Island Park at home,” pleaded Philome. “We will not be protesting. We will be speaking and we will be celebrating.”
Police Chief David Todd says there will be officers in the area as a precaution, but the department is encouraged to stand and celebrate alongside supporters. Chief Todd also ensures riot gear will be left at home.
The entire police department as well as city leaders are in support of the event. They say they want to do everything they can to make Fargo-Moorhead the kind of area anyone would feel proud to call home.
“We are truly trying to build a community effort,” said Mayor Mahoney. “Tomorrow is a celebration that we all do love each other and we will work together to make this a better place.”