Protests and Churchill Downs: What’s next after Derby?

Protests and Churchill Downs: What’s next after Derby?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Organizers of protests demanding justice for Breonna Taylor say they intend to continue applying pressure to Churchill Downs for commitments of inclusion in its economic future.

“It’s not simply to Churchill Downs, but to many of these large corporations that are in our city and yet making no contribution to the communities around them,” said Timothy Findley Jr., founder of the Justice and Freedom Coalition. “In the continuing to pressure Churchill Downs to make proper contributions as part of the remedy in distressed communities, it’s also a saying we have to get as many people registered to vote as possible. We have to be leading the push on getting the census filled out.”

Prior to Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs released a statement saying in part, “We are committed to taking real, concrete action to address institutional roadblocks to progress and playing our part in advancing the changes America so desperately needs.” Metro Councilman-elect Jecorey Arthur suggests actions will speak louder than words.

“None of those statements mean anything if you don’t put your money where your mouth is,” Arthur said. “And that is going to require them to make investments. That is going to require them, outside of those investments ... do you acknowledge what you have done? Because so many of our institutions that are predominantly white and have excluded black Louisvillians, are either playing dumb or being played.

“This is our largest event, upwards of almost a half billion dollars of economic impact,” Arthur said. “How much of that money comes to the black community? How much of that money comes to the west end? How many businesses, vendors and partners are black (owned)? How many black people are they hiring? We only have one black horse owner.”

A spokeswoman for Churchill Downs said there will be announcements soon on plans to keep pledges that have been made.

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