Black History Month: Porche Bennett-Bey

Jon Quinn (TheLorian)

During a visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin in Sept. of 2020 after the shooting of Jacob Blake, then presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden listened to members of the community at Grace Lutheran Church. In this moment, Porche Bennett-Bey stepped up to the microphone and said “I’m just gonna be honest, Mr. Biden. I was told to go off this paper but I can’t. You need the truth.”

Bennett-Bey is a Kenosha resident, army veteran, and a mother of three. She delivered an honest and emotion filled perspective of a community in mourning to now-President Biden. Bennett-Bey’s monologue was powerful enough to go viral on social media and gain the attention of major news outlets, including the prestigious magazine “TIME.”

From that moment on, Bennett-Bey was heavily involved in the community, organizing marches, food drives, and other community services all for the fight of racial justice. She quit her job as an in-home care assistant and started her racial justice work with a local organization called BLAK (Black Lives Activists of Kenosha). Here she worked along the side of other activists in Kenosha to meet certain goals of the organization.

However, Bennett-Bey noticed more work in the community that needed to be done. So in October of 2020, she started her own non-profit organization called United As One “to bring together all in unity to fight against systemic racism and to regain what is rightfully ours as a people,” according to the organization’s mission statement.

Towards the end of November, it is revealed that Porche Bennett-Bey is going to be featured in TIME magazine as one of the Guardians of the Year. To her surprise, she landed a spot on the cover, right behind Biden & Vice-President Kamala Harris and in front of professional athlete Lebron James.

“I looked it up and hit TIME magazine, and type it in and click it and I’m just like [drops phone],” said Bennett-Bey recounting how she found out. “[I’m usually not smiling] because everything we’ve had has been rallies and protests. There’s nothing happy about it.”

The honor only motivates Porche Bennett-Bey to do more work in the community. In order to make change in her community, she plans to run for office and be a voice for those who may have lost their voice. The seat she plans to run for is still not certain, however rumors speculate it may be for Mayor of Kenosha next year.

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Jon is currently a junior who is double-majoring in Media Studies and Public Relations. He is heavily involved at Loras as a campus photographer, residential adviser, and a sports editor for the school newspaper, The Lorian.

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