Lindsay Durham was young when she witnessed an act of racial discrimination — it still stands out to her today.
“In elementary, a white girl and Hispanic boy had gotten into a verbal altercation in the hallway. I don't remember what it was about or much of what was said, but I remember a particular moment when the girl yelled something I remember clearly,” Durham said. “She yelled that he needed to bathe and scrub his skin because it was ‘dirty.’ I was too young to understand the concept of racism, but I knew that what she said was ugly. I heard the hate in her voice, and I saw the pain on his face.”
Durham said the impact of what the young girl said still lingers.
Today, at 28 years old, she hopes to use her position of privilege to hold other white people accountable. That is why she joined BRAVE.
Durham grew up on a farm in Napoleon, a community of roughly 8,000 people located 30 miles west of Bowling Green. In school, amongst other things, she belonged to the speech team and PAWS —Peers Achieving Win-win Solutions. This helped her overcome her fear of public speaking and gain emotional communication and mediation skills.
In PAWS, they were assigned to mediate students who had mostly gotten into physical fights at school. “Miscommunication seemed to be at the root of many issues, and I found fulfillment in helping disputing parties understand each other,” Durham said.
Durham continues to use those skills by standing up for racial injustice and attending protests.
She said the first protest she ever attended was in 2014 for Michael Brown in Bowling Green.
She attended her second protest in Bowling Green on May 21.
“I protested by myself in front of the police station three times before joining BRAVE, because I didn't really know what else to do,” she said. “The third time, I met Elijah McKnight and Anthony King, organizers of the George Floyd protest,who asked me to be a part of BRAVE. I joined right away and have been working hard ever since.”
Durham’s boyfriend of five years, Chris Douglas, said, “Lindsay has a good heart and insatiable nature for the truth and getting things right.”
Durham’s mom, Nancy Durham, said Lindsay has many characteristics that stand out.
“She cares for others, she has a lot of empathy and she stands up for others and for her beliefs,” Nancy said. “She is very creative and has a unique and unusual way of seeing things. Her physical beauty and sense of style, too.”
Durham credits her mom for teaching her empathy. “My mom taught me that regardless of what you may or may not have, there is always a way to help people. She continues to inspire me, as I continue to look for ways to help those I can.”