On Sunday, Rashad Turner, the leader of Black Lives Matter St. Paul, announced that he would be leaving the group.
According to Pioneer Press, the group, which has sought to distinguish itself from Black Lives Matters Minneapolis, rose to prominence when it organized a “Black Fair” that briefly blocked access to the Minnesota State Fair.
Turner announced that he no longer felt comfortable in Black Lives Matter St. Paul because the national leadership of the group recently denounced charter schools and called for an end to their practice. The N.A.A.C.P also denounced charters, saying they perpetuated segregation and inequality.
Turner is a graduate of St. Paul public schools and is studying to get his Masters degree in Educational Leadership at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
He added that he felt comfortable stepping away from BLM St. Paul because there were other social groups, such as AR14 for Justice, on the rise.
“It definitely made me more comfortable,” he said. “Anytime you put your heart and soul into something, it’s hard to leave it, but definitely, other groups have stepped up, so I’m comfortable with where things are at.”
Turner went on to say that he was proud of how the movement had worked to “get people off their couches and get off their computers and actually get out into the community.”
“The thing I’m most proud of is how we’ve set the tone,” he said. “We got people involved and engaged enough to the point where they’re ready to take action. A lot of groups have started up in this past year and they’re ready to start making changes.”