When film and media studies and anthropology and sociology double major Flor Caceres ’22 was invited by a friend to speak at the Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Easton on June 7, the young activist wasted no time crafting and delivering a rousing speech in support of racial equality and justice. Learn more about Caceres and her allyship below.
WHY I’M TAKING ACTION:
“The issue of racial injustice has always been here, and now we’re in the midst of the largest civil rights movement that this country has ever seen. And I think it’s our job to keep cheering it on. It’s necessary for us to be allies every single day and to keep educating ourselves on the different issues that the Black community continue to face, whether it be police brutality, mass incarceration, or problems with the education system and health care system. When we educate ourselves, we’re more equipped to learn how to use our resources and influence to help others who are facing different struggles from us.”
HOW I’M MAKING AN IMPACT:
“The Black community has been there to support me as an activist for immigrant rights, and it’s time for us to also give back to those communities that are in need. My No. 1 goal is to make sure that everyone is there for each other and everyone is doing the best they can, such as voting, attending town halls, and raising their concerns. I’m not from Easton, Pennsylvania, unfortunately; but at the same time, I reside in Easton, and I’m part of the systems that continue to harm different individuals every single day. The question is, what can we do as different individuals who benefit from these systems? How can we help better the community that we are residing in? Giving back to the community is our job. If we’re living here, we can’t be sitting in our own little bubble. We have to be doing something.
“The importance of this rally was to create solidarity between all of us, and it was also a call to action. A lot of the speakers spoke about empowering people, about creating alliance. That is what my speech was about as well: How we can go about changing all of these systems nationally, and what can we do locally in the Lehigh Valley area?”
CHANGES I WANT TO SEE:
“I really hope that, at least in the Easton community, we can find ways to work around the budgeting the Easton Police Department receives and maybe put more funding toward other things like education or housing inequality solutions. Aside from that, legislation has to change in many different ways. But in order for us to have better legislation, we have to vote in the legislators. I strongly believe that if people go out and vote, we can see change. It’s not enough for us to say change isn’t possible. It is possible; you just have to put in the work. We all need to be working together to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard, and we all need to be working together to make sure progress is being made.”
MY MESSAGE TO THE WORLD:
“It’s not only at this time, but also every single day that we need to be conscious about the space we’re in, the people who are included in those spaces, the people who we are excluding, and their stories. Everyone in this community needs to make sure that everyone is included in the conversation, and we need to make sure everyone knows all Black lives matter. It’s not about putting one group against the other; it’s about highlighting everyone’s experiences. Everyone comes from different struggles at different levels, and we need to fight for each other and stand with each other against racism, mistreatment, and discrimination.”
THE NEXT STEP:
“The community needs to keep working toward these efforts, and I’m going to be doing my part as an ally by continuing to help organize events and using my filmmaking skills to keep sharing the stories that the Black community and people of color want to tell. In addition, I will keep working on my immigrant rights efforts as well, educating all the communities I identify with or support, making sure they know of these issues that affect everyone.
“I highly encourage and recommend the Lafayette community to dive deep into the following resources that could help us all learn more about what we can do for the Lehigh Valley.”
POWER Bail Fund of Lehigh Valley
Black-Owned Businesses in the Lehigh Valley