'Collective action can lead to change': UCLA professor discusses SoCal protests

UCLA professor Dr. Tyrone Howard says the wide range of people coming together during the protests is an encouraging sign.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As protests continue nationwide and across the globe over the death of George Floyd, UCLA education professor Dr. Tyrone Howard joined ABC7 via Skype to discuss peace protests throughout Southern California.

Howard was asked about his thoughts on the local protests and the differences between what he saw on the weekend and Tuesday.

The UCLA professor says over the weekend there was a lot of raw emotion and anger spilling over, but believes time gives people an opportunity to make sense out of what they've seen. Howard says time gives people a chance to organize, mobilize and bring together a "multiethnic, multiracial, multiage, multigender coalition."

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Dr. Cheryl Grills, a professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University, joined ABC7 on Saturday to explain how race factored into the recent protests and some of the unrest seen during Saturday's protests.



"I think people are now seeing that collective action can lead to change," said Howard.

Howard was also asked about how much he thinks the message of peace from George Floyd's brother's helped in changing the tone of the demonstrations, and said the message "definitely helped."

"We just hope we don't have to see the same situation happen again with another life lost," said Howard, adding that he hopes the efforts by the protesters are sustainable.

Howard also spoke positively of the younger generation that is protesting.

"They are smart. They are savvy. They are innovative. They use technology to leverage their voice. They are able to mobilize in ways that we could never imagine," said Howard.

He says young people are impatient and want to see immediate reaction, which he admires.

"This generation of young people, typically, is going to serve as a catalyst for the change that we want to see," said Howard.

"They want us to form a human coalition. To understand that oppression to any group affects folks everywhere."

Howard also offered his thoughts on how to teach a young person that certain things require time.

"We have to find a happy medium," said Howard. "We're in a marathon, it's not a sprint. And so we have to help the younger generation to meet us halfway."

Howard is also encouraged about the protests.

"Last couple of days have been encouraging to me on a number of levels because we've seen such a wide range of people come together," said Howard.

"I want to be cautiously hopeful that while we're making progress and that the finish line might be coming up soon, that if we take our foot off the gas, we can find ourselves right back to where we were 10, 15 years prior," Howard added.

Howard says he wants the younger generation to speak their voices, act responsibly and care deeply about justice and inclusion.

"We also have to make sure that we, the older generations, are not letting them down to make sure we're doing our part in the struggle as well," said Howard.
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