ByBria Bolden|June 3, 2020 at 10:44 PM EDT - Updated June 3 at 11:53 PM
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As protesters continue to march in cities around the country, community leaders stand with them.
“Protesters are saying, this is beyond just killing Mr. Abrery and Mr. Floyd. This dates back to a time when black people were systematically suppressed and it must end," said Savnnah NAACP Interim President Richard Shinhoster.
Leaders like Shinhoster protested alongside Savannahians Sunday. But he also wants the public to help make change by heading to the polls.
“This first step in this change is to go to the polls and vote for those persons who will address our issues, and get people at the local level, the state level, and at the national level who will address our issues and this is one of the major efforts right now at the NAACP.”
The organization is hosting political forums online so that voters can still have an opportunity to hear directly from the people who want to represent them.
He also says Georgia needs hate crime legislation and police municipalities need to do a better job of screening officers. Pastor Ricky Temple agrees.
“Those in power with the ability to bring change should make change," said Pastor Ricky Temple with Overcoming by Faith Ministries.
Pastor Ricky Temple also protested with Savannahians and says prayer and encouragement along with reaching out to family and friends are the best places to find support.
He also says even though this is a moment of pain, it can also be a moment of great healing.
”Sometime when the tide went out on this moment in our country we saw how weak we were. We saw that we were not as united as we thought we were, we saw we were not as together, we saw that racism still has its place somewhere in this country and we need to find it, uproot it and say no to it. We need each other.”