by Terry Rogers
Jalyn Powell, who graduated from Milford High School in 2014 and from Delaware State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, noticed that nothing was planned in Milford to shed light on injustices faced by black people at the hands of law enforcement. She was shocked. Powell, who also holds a Masters of Law with a concentration in Human Rights and Rule of Law, knew she had to do something which led her to plan the “Walk for Change,” scheduled for Sunday, June 14 at 4 PM.
“I asked myself, if not me, then who?” Powell said. “I typically don’t wait to think of an answer because when there is a call for change, it must be me. I live life inspired by Gandhi’s famous quote “Be the change you want to be in the world.” I am hoping to bring awareness to both sides about the injustices people of color face on a day-to-day basis.”
The walk will begin in the Gigante parking lot and people will walk through the downtown area. Powell is asking this to be a silent walk with no chanting in order to bring a more powerful message as people see a large group walking silently through her hometown. Those who wish to participate are asked to wear clothing with messages that encourage all races to better understand each other as well as signs seeking better relationships between police and people of color.
“Police brutality is not the only form of unjust action enforced on black people,” Powell said. “I want to shed light on the root of the problem and that is our justice system, education system, healthcare system, political system, etc. This walk goes beyond us. It is a call for action. It is a call to get involved. It is a call to get heard. It is a call to be seen. We want to change the way “they” see us. We must be the change. It starts with us.”
Powell explained her goal is not to achieve racial equality as she feels America, now and in the past, continues racism and slavery tactics. Instead, she is fighting for Racial Equity.
“Black people will always have to do more to get the same as someone who is not of color,” Powell said. “When we change the way you see us, we change the way you hear us. We are walking in silence, but our message will be loud and clear. We demand justice. We demand a re-form of the unjust systems polluted with racism and corruption. We demand change. When they see us, they hear us but it starts with us.”
Powell is the President and CEO of OUTLOUD, LLC, an empowerment services corporation that provides innovative pathways to personal growth and achievement in a holistic approach. The company provides prevention and intervention services for youth programs and young adults through education and awareness programs personalized to specific needs. OUTLOUD believes that actions speak louder than words and encourages participants to be intentional about their personal growth, providing tools to help young people discover the power behind their own voice. Powell is also a motivational speaker, discussing topics that include grief support, youth development and more.
Anyone who wants to join the walk is encouraged to meet at the Gigante parking lot at 3:45 PM. She is asking that social distancing protocols be followed and that anyone who walks wear a mask. Anyone who wishes to book Powell for motivational speaking or to learn more about her organization can visit her website at jalynpowell.com.