Fifty-eight years ago today, four African American young men changed history through a peaceful protest when they refused to leave the whites only section of a Woolworth store in Greensboro, NC.
Fast forward to today where our country has seen unprecedented numbers of protests, we want to examine the lessons learned from the past.
Not all protests are created equal as now there are social media protests in addition to in-person protests. Social media protests catch on like wild fire with hashtags as they circulate through millions of people across the globe within minutes. The impact is swift and fast. In-person protests are face-to-face interactions that can lead to violence.
Given the frequency of in-person protests, it's important to manage the way you interact with people to decrease the chance of violence. Understand that emotions run high. You want change. You want to right a wrong. So there are feelings of anger, injustice, pride. When emotions are raw and exposed, there’s a chance of violence. To help decrease violence, monitor the ways you’re showing your emotions. Faking emotions such as pretending to be calm when you’re not feeling it is easily noted. Show your hands, which indicates you’re open/safe. Watch your posture - avoid aggressive stances.