We would be remiss if we didn’t write about the uprising that has swept the nation and our local cities over the past year. This year’s twin pandemic of the coronavirus as well as systemic racism have been in full effect but the power and persistence of local activists in support of Black lives has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. Starting with protests that hit the streets and shut down grocery stores and made their way to the mayor’s house, the wave of energy culminated in a weeks-long occupation of Bailey Park in which a coalition of Black and Brown activists demanded transparency and accountability for the death of John Neville in the Forsyth County jail. And though progress can be slow at times, the sustained efforts of Black and Brown activists, particularly those by women of color, made all the difference in the city this past year with changed policies within the jail and more. As we all know, the work is not over, but these local groups and individuals have made it clear that they are here to stay and that their collective voices cannot be silenced. Our cities are vastly better because of their efforts and we all owe the progress that has been made to their tireless resistance.

— SM

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