Chatham-Kent Athletes Among Leaders Of Black Lives Matter March

Black Lives Matter Chatham

Organizers of the Chatham-Kent Supports Black Lives Matter event

If you looked among the crowd of close to 2000 people who marched at the Chatham-Kent Supports Black Lives Matter event on June 5, you’d see some familiar faces from Chatham-Kent’s athletic community.

Included in those ranks were organizers Erykah Bugros and Thador Thekli.

“We were so happy with how many people came out,” said Erykah Bugros, a UCC graduate and current student at Carleton University.

Bugros has also been a member of Chatham-Kent’s sports community for many years, including playing sports with UCC, as well as with the Chatham-Kent Wildcats, and Windsor Valiants.

“We didn’t anticipate that many people. I think it goes to show how important this cause is to the community. It’s proof that racism in Canada is real and people want change.”

Bugros, along with fellow spokesperson Thador Tekhli, who runs cross country for St. Clair College, felt the need to show solidarity with American counterparts, as well as to shed light on existing anti-black racism in Canada.

“Anti-Black racism has been an issue for centuries,” said Bugros. “It’s not going to change just because we marched. And it’s not going to change overnight. This is going to take a lot of effort and time. If the community really wants change they will continue to support the movement.”

Chatham-Kent, which is known for Black historic sites including Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Buxton National Historic Site, also has far to come in terms of anti-black racism, and this march was definitely not the finishing point, but rather a first step.

For Bugros, the opportunity to participate in this movement, and see the community support, has given her hope.

“Organizing this march has been such a powerful and humbling experience. It is important to understand that racism is a widespread issue and it exists in our community. The support from the community was great and it gives me hope for the future, but we have to keep it going.”

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