Featuring about a dozen participants, the caravan started near Rosie’s Dog Beach and made its way along Ocean Boulevard, passing supporters honking and waving their signs, ending at Long Beach City Hall.
There, team members Samantha Troisi, David Rowe, Shani Crooks, Giselle Ormeno and Alyssa Canales scouted for people to sign their civility pledge to be an “agent of change” toward practicing kindness and respect. So far, the pledge has received over 800 signatures.
“I think the last several years have been difficult for everyone, and I know personally for me I’ve experienced incivility in my own life or I’ve seen it on TV or around me,” Troisi said. “It just meant something to me to do something about it.”
Claudia Ilcken, a participant in the caravan, said she decided to attend Saturday’s event in support of civility in society.
Ilcken said that the night before the event, her son was harassed by a Long Beach School Safety officer near Naples Bayside Academy, where he and his friends were hanging out. Because the campus is currently closed, the group was escorted out by officers, who singled out Ilcken’s son to be questioned, she said.
“My son is the only black kid, and they start questioning him away from the other kids, asking if he had any weapons on him and not believing any of his answers,” Ilcken said. “Telling me that, the officer had his hand on his weapon the whole time. My son is only 15.”
Ilcken said that her son was left feeling shaken up after the interaction, which prompted her to participate in the caravan and leave a complaint towards the safety officer.
“We can’t really progress together as a society if we can’t come together and find a way to connect and respect each other,” Trolsi said. “I think it’s the little things that build up to the bigger things,”
Though the caravan is CivilityLB’s last event, the pledge, website and social media presence will remain accessible online.