As I sit here and reflect on this past year...I'm blown away by the fact that we've gone through a pandemic, watched as Australia and California battled devastating wildfires, survived Tiger King, punched each other over toilet paper, we were blessed with Chris Evans accidentally sharing a NSFW photo, and, more seriously, we witnessed the entire world call out for the end of racism. I still get chills when I think about how many people, together, were protesting the same issue.

Now, I'm new to the area. But, I've been made aware that downtown Kalamazoo was home to such protests at the end of May and beginning of June. At least for Black Lives Matter. Later, in August the Proud Boys were the ones marching the streets. And, generally, when these kind of protests happen police tend to get involved.

While I can't speak on how the Kalamazoo Public Safety Office handled these protests, you can.

As reported by WWMT News Channel 3, back in November, the city of Kalamazoo selected the OIR Group to conduct an independent review of the protests and how the local police force handled them. They look at whether or not proper procedures were followed, if they were appropriate procedures and then they recommend changes.

But, again, were they there? Did they experience it firsthand? I don't know. However, if you did, there are two sessions scheduled where local community members can give their input. The sessions will be over Zoom, to be considerate of the ongoing pandemic, and will be streamed live on Youtube. The dates and times are as follows:

If you can't be on either of those particular Zoom calls you can still give your input. Contact the OIR Group by email at michael.gennaco@oirgroup.com or by calling 323-412-0334.

I don't know much. But, I do know that the first step in change is talking about..well..what needs to be changed, to put it simply. There's be a lot of hurt, a lot of anger, not just this year but for years past. And this, at least locally, might be a good place to start to heal that hurt.❤️

If you forgot what it was like in downtown Kalamazoo after the protests, you can see pictures below.

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SEE MORE: 26 Moving Pictures From The Flint Protest