On July 24, 2016, Black Lives Matter Chicago will host an event called Ronnie Man Day, after the late Ronald “Ronnie Man” Johnson who was killed by Detective George Hernandez on October 12, 2014. This event will be held at Washington Park on 53rd and King Drive, where the murder took place. On this day, we will rename the park to “Ronald Johnson” park, celebrate the young life of Ronnie Man, honor his family and all impacted by police violence as well as honor the 2,500 young people who have been victims of gun violence between 2007 and 2014. Ronnie Man Day will intentionally draw together the families and community members who have been impacted by both state violence as well as intercommunal violence in order to honor the humanity of all who have been taken too soon and stand in unity under the demand to end all violence.
We will provide the community with food from neighboring vendors; provide activities for children which will include face painting and story telling; and provide a platform for young artists to perform poetry, spoken word, song, rap, and dance.
We have been in communication with the Alderman’s office to rename this section of Washington Park after Ronald Johnson in order to provide a permanent memorial to his life and legacy as well as permanently honor all who have been victims of state violence.
Lastly, we will honor all of the fallen with a memorial ceremony, identifying each individual who has passed in an effort to assert and proclaim that all of their lives matter. Together will stand in unity to mourn, celebrate and build allegiance and community with each other as we move forward to end the violence that has affected so many.