Brookhaven resident Betsy Eggers, known as the founder of the nonprofit Peachtree Creek Greenway, will host a Black Lives Matter protest Friday, July 3.
Eggers has been hosting weekly Friday BLM protests. She said the protests are separate from her work with the nonprofit, which advocates for a multiuse trail along the North Fork Peachtree Creek.
“It’s time we change our hearts and our actions,” Eggers said. “White people need to recognize their own White privilege and work toward undoing racism, and by gathering together, we show the White community the need for change.”
Eggers said the upcoming protest is the fourth silent and peaceful protest she has hosted in support of BLM. Protesters meet at Clack’s Corner park at 1410 Cartecay Drive at 4:30 p.m. and march to the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA Station at 4047 Peachtree Road, where they hold signs of support until about 6 p.m.
Eggers said she recommends people “bring a smile and a good attitude,” and the protesters tend to get a lot of support from cars passing by. The protests have a range of attendance, from five people to 45, Eggers said.
Brookhaven Planning Commissioner John Funny mentioned Eggers’ upcoming protest while talking with District 3 Councilmember Madeleine Simmons during a June 29 town hall on racial justice. Demonstrations are ways to make sure the issues of institutionalized racism don’t continue to “get swept under the rug,” he said.
“I appreciate my neighbors and the citizens in Brookhaven making their voices heard,” Funny said.
Eggers does not have an end date for the protests and said she feels like they’ll continue for a long time.
“It’s not a fun thing to do, but it’s a necessary thing,” Eggers said.
Both of her adult children have also been active in BLM demonstrations, Eggers said, and she has shown her support through these protests as well as working to call out racism.
“The work that I and other White people need to be doing everyday is listening to others and confronting our friends and neighbors about overt or covert racist remarks or assumptions,” Eggers said.
The Peachtree Creek Greenway’s first mile was completed in Brookhaven in December 2019 and is located along Buford Highway, an area famous for its multicultural immigrant communities. The greenway project has spurred a years-long gentrification controversy because rising property costs near the path could displace long-time residents, like similar affordable housing problems along the Atlanta BeltLine.