Black Lives Matter Protest in Loveland


Margaret Sprigg-Dudley, Contributor, '22

Plague may be a sign of the apocalypse, but 2020 is anything but the end. New Year’s Eve 2019: countdown to a new decade, countdown to a new start.  Maybe a pandemic was bound to happen, but these protests are long overdue. In response to the death of George Floyd, there were large protests in all 50 states. Cities tend to be where more action happens, where we see the most change, so naturally cities are where these protests started. But when protests extend past city limits, into suburbs, into small towns? That’s when you know it’s a big deal. That’s when it changes from a local protest to a national fight.

As Black Lives Matter protests and riots overtook the nation in early June, small town Loveland Ohio partook in its own way. Loveland, a town about 30 minutes outside the city of Cincinnati, is recorded as having  a population of 12.9 thousand, of whom 92.1% residents are white and only 1.7% black. Though Loveland contains a wide range of political views, it leans conservative (“Loveland, Ohio Politics & Voting”). I was very interested in the Prayer Walk from the beginning because it was in Loveland, a place that has never before had protests.

Like many cities across the nation, Downtown Cincinnati had several Black Lives Matter Protests in June. Any time I’ve wanted to protest for an issue – March for Our Lives, Women’s March, LGBTQ+ pride – I had to drive the 30 minutes to downtown Cincinnati. But for the first time in my life, a protest came to me.

I found out about this protest through social media where it was described as a “prayer walk” for “anyone who wants to pray for racial peace and healing.” This meeting, which was led by a black man in association with the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, started with a prayer for the souls killed by police and was meant to celebrate the “forest fire” of activists rising up across the nation to fight police brutality. Of the 200 people in attendance, about 12% of the group was black – a much higher percentage than the overall demographics of Loveland.

Based on my previous protest experience, I expected chants, signs, and police. But this was not a protest, it was a “prayer walk.” Going from the church to the local high school and back, we walked a total of 3 miles, stopping once to give a prayer for the students of Loveland. There were no chants, no signs, and no police presence. The only times a noise traveled through the crowd was when cars periodically honked their horns in support. Occasionally, I noticed people filming us from their cars or homes.

The walk took place every day for a total of seven days. I went on day four. According to the organizer, on day one there was one person, day two there were nine, day three there were 30, and by the time I arrived there were over 200 people in attendance.

What does this prove? Although this “prayer walk” was not a protest, there was a big show of support from not only the Loveland community, but also from outsiders. As someone who does not attend church, I felt out of place, but glad to be there. “Protests” like these don’t catch the attention of the media like others have. The bigger, non-religious protests do more, make more of a difference, and put pressure on the nation to change. But the fact that Loveland took a stand at all is a step in the right direction.

Like I said, this is the first protest I’ve been able to go to in my hometown. We have plenty of parades: 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Senior Graduation to name a few. We have celebrations like Christmas in Loveland and Bands and Brews. Despite all of these community events, we have never had a pride celebration, much less a protest. But for Black Lives Matter we did. Kind of. The Black Lives Matter movement is strong-It’s pushing over party lines, over US borders, and into white conservative towns that haven’t been involved in race-related issues in the past. This is The Issue. This is strong and steadfast. THIS is history.




Works Cited

“Loveland, OH.” Data USA,

“Loveland, Ohio Politics & Voting.” BestPlaces,