Katelyn Zimmerman, protester with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Photo and Interview.

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Title

Katelyn Zimmerman, protester with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Photo and Interview.

Subject

A photo and interview from a local youth protester on the intersection between the Covid-19 Pandemic and the BLM Movement.

Description

Z: What is your name/age/race?

K: My name is Katelyn Zimmerman, my age is 19. I am white.

Z: How have you been personally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic?

K: Currently, I am out of work due to Covid-19. My roommate and boyfriend has tested positive for the virus, I am waiting on my test results. I am almost definitely certain that I have it from him. My family lives in New Jersey, which is currently standing as one of the most contaminated places. I have friends and family who have caught Covid. It’s affected my life by preventing me from seeing my loved ones, preventing me from earning money to live, and disrupting the way that most of us live our lives.

Z: How do you think the world has changed in the past few months?

K: I think that many people have come to the sudden realization of how often we are in contact with each other. How much we financially and socially depend on everyone around us. And having that suddenly ripped away from us, proves how much we really need every one else in our communities, to not only help keep everyone safe by taking personal responsibility to wear masks, to use hand sanitizer, to stay home if you’re sick, but also in our fundamental interactions with each other that we miss right now.

Z: Why are you out protesting today/why do you protest?

K: I protested because what’s happening and what has been happening for so long to the members of the Black community in our country and their experiences with our police force and white supremacists is unwarranted. They don’t deserve to be treated like they have been, and like they are currently being treated. I think if people see- Um, the more people who show their support against the injustice, the better chance we have of fighting it. That’s why I show up to protests.

Z: What does police reform mean to you?

K: Police reform means to me that people within our government and the law enforcement communities understand the issue that the protests are trying to call out. We are asking for people in power to take steps towards ending racial injustice and using unnecessary force. Fundamentally, police reform means to me that police simply start doing their jobs b y protected the people of their communities rather than using their power against them. Like, I think banning the use of chokeholds unless someone is very violent, that’s a step towards police reform.

Z: Do you think the world is changing for the better?

K: Completely, honestly? I don’t know. I think there are people who are trying to make the change for the better. People who are protesting, people who are taking an active stance against issues like police brutality and also the unnecessary spread of COVID-19. However, it does not seem apparent to me that our government is taking either of these issues seriously. I don’t know if the world will find any change from our federal government and unfortunately, we would greatly benefit from their support and our movements are greatly hindered from their ignorance.

Z: How do you think Covid-19 has influenced or has silenced people in their urgency to commit social action?

K: I think that the Black Lives Matter movement and Covid-19 are unreliant on one another. I think that if anything, the pandemic has discouraged people from taking part in social action when it comes to getting out there, going to protests, speaking their mind. I think that the use of internet and social media has proven to be one of our greatest allies during this pandemic, because so many of us have barricaded ourselves inside, rightly so, and with our inability to p[physically be in contact with one another, a lot of what we can do depends on what we can do from home.

K: How do you think this era will be remembered?

Z: Oh, that’s a good question! I think this era will be remembered as a time where our country was in complete disarray in many, many ways (laughs) I hope, I sincerely hope that people look at the time that we’re living through now as an example to understand what the power of the common people can when it comes to Black Lives Matter protests, and refusing police brutality and changing the way the police treat people of color.

Z: And also what they can do for public safety?

K: And also what they can do for public safety! I also sincerely hope that we realize how detrimental disease can be to our population, and that the next pandemic, God forbid, we actually take it seriously, and we treat it the way that other countries have been treating it.

Z: Thank you!

K: You’re welcome!

Creator

Zachariah Brown

Date

July 14, 2020

Contributor

Zachariah Brown

Format

Photograph and written interview.

Language

English

Citation

Zachariah Brown, “Katelyn Zimmerman, protester with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Photo and Interview.,” accessed July 18, 2024, https://publichumanities.omeka.net/items/show/20.

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