As a storyteller, I write about experiences that have moved me: most of my novels are many stories weaved together to make one. My goal as a writer is to challenge my readers to think about something they may have not considered before. Today, this is part of my experience with the Black Lives Movement (BLM). I have been behind The Black Lives Matter movement for a few years. Colin Kaepernick was the person who introduced it to me when he played at the University of Northern Nevada (UNR) in Reno where I live. My wife and I went to all of the home games and loved to watch him create magic out on the field. A person couldn’t help but love the kid both on and off the field. He was approachable, kind and sensible. My impression was that Colin had his finger on the pulse of everyone and everything he came into contact with. Watching him grow into a great man of principle has been a pleasure. I remember when he got picked up by the San Francisco 49ers—my wife and I were so excited. We knew he was going to be special; we just didn’t know how special. When he started taking a knee and the NFL world grew concerned, I figured if he was taking a knee he was prompting me to learn something. That is when I came to learn about BLM.
Within all of the criticism of Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee his biggest critics overlooked what he was doing behind the scenes to help others. As I learned from watching his college years, Colin Kaepernick doesn’t just talk the talk, he takes risks (BIG RISKS) and takes action. I knew one day the world would wake up and see what he has been trying to tell us all these years. I quit watching football because of the unfair treatment of Colin. For me, I saw how corrupt and racist the NFL is as an organization, especially the owners of the teams.
As our country comes to terms with its racism, I see people that are special like Colin Kaepernick who rise to the occasion. Throughout the demonstrations in Minneapolis over the murder of George Floyd, I met an incredibly special person that has been working for change in his community for a long time.
The first time I saw Trey Pollard he was standing between the riot police and demonstrators. Trey was attempting to keep the peace. This was the first day of the most recent demonstrations for BLM and the situation was volatile, tensions were high to say the least. In my opinion, Trey put himself on the line to protect the police as they were outnumbered by the crowd of demonstrators. He was asking everyone to stay cool, no looting, no violence. I thought to myself, “now there is a guy that is determined to help his community.” Later, I met and spoke to Trey, I learned that he had been handing out water and masks (remember COVID19?) to the demonstrators and police. He was also organizing platforms so people could voice their grief and frustration without any violence from the crowd. As the demonstrations grew, I heard Trey and his team talking to people to remind them to stay six feet apart because of the contagion. Again, I reached out to Trey and let him know how much I admired him, that I supported his efforts, and I would help in any way I could for the movement.
Writing this is one way I am working to spread the word and bring awareness for people like Trey and his organization called WE Push For Peace. WE Push For Peace is a non-profit organization in north Minneapolis that has one goal: make real change that is felt on the street.
Trey tells me that he dedicates his time working to take the community away from violence and focus on making a difference, especially for kids. He has joined his efforts with other community activists, youth workers, and other volunteers who have a shared goal to bring peace to everyone. “No one should be afraid to walk down a sidewalk in Minneapolis,” they told me. It is a heartfelt pleasure to see people that are motivated by change rather than power and money. People like Trey and his volunteers dedicated to changing the lives of others are the heroes of this time.
When George Floyd was killed and the community took to the streets, Trey and his crew hit the streets too. They were out there not only bringing awareness to what was going on but helping both the police and the community. As I said, I believe they put themselves in the danger zone in order to help others. A huge, humbled shout out to Trey and his team – STAY SAFE MY FRIENDS AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
I’m going to leave a link to WE Push For Peace and if you are one for those people who are wondering how to help our country during these hard times, go to the link and donate to WE Push For Peace. Your money will not be wasted in their hands. These are very capable people that are actively working in the community to make a difference on the streets.
Lastly, I’ve put my money where my mouth is and donated to WE Push For Peace as have members of my team. To me, this shows the ripple effect of Trey’s kindness, courage, and dedication. If you would also like to give or get involved, please see below for more information. Donate and know that your money is going to the cause without a doubt. https://www.wepushforpeace.com/
Donations can be made via
- Cash App to $wepushforpeace
- Venmo to @Wepushforpeace-Pollard
- Venmo to @Wepushforpeace-Pollard
- Zelle to We Push For Peace
If you would like a tax receipt:
Please put your email address in the memo on Cash App or Venmo. We Push For Peace would like to be able to send you a receipt for your generous donation. Or you may email your name/address to wepushforpeace@gmailcom and a tax receipt will be sent to you.