By Kathy Chouteau
Richmond community organizer and activist, Antwon Cloird, will be celebrating the life of his slain friend this November when he hosts the First Annual David Patrick Underwood Thanksgiving Memorial Sun., Nov. 22, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. behind Macy’s parking lot at The Shops at Hilltop.
Cloird is collaborating with others to coordinate the Thanksgiving Memorial in honor of David Patrick Underwood, a 53-year-old federal protective service officer who was fatally shot in May while guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland during a demonstration over the killing of George Floyd.
“I am honoring my dear friend with the First Annual David Patrick Underwood Thanksgiving Memorial. He was truly beloved throughout our community,” said Cloird.
According to Cloird, many families are facing financial and other hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s anticipated they will struggle to celebrate Thanksgiving.
To address the situation, Cloird is partnering with the Richmond Police Department, Richmond Fire Department, Rich Minds, as well as Green Remedy and Holistic Healing, which are sponsoring the event and have helped make the first 500 bags a reality.
“We are planning to serve 1,000 bags of Thanksgiving dinners and that includes turkeys,” said Cloird about the outdoor Thanksgiving Memorial event. “I have 500 bags so far, but we need an additional 500 more bags to be distributed on the day of the event.”
As such, Cloird is seeking local companies that might be able to support the Thanksgiving Memorial with a donation to fund 500 more dinners.
By all accounts, Underwood was much-admired and beloved by those who knew him. In Pinole where he grew up, community members launched an effort to renovate and rename a basketball court in honor of him.
The Thanksgiving Memorial is closely aligned with his giving spirit.
At Underwood’s funeral, Laurie Walsh, a longtime friend and neighbor, remembered him fondly. “I was very proud to see what kind of man he became…he was a very considerate, respectful man,” said Walsh about Underwood, who used to bring his gumbo over to share with her mother across the street.
Underwood’s sister, Angela Underwood Jacobs, described her brother as “secure and confident and never arrogant. He stood tall, strong, stoic, reaching for the sky…He believed that the key to living life is to treat people with dignity, humility and grace,” said Jacobs.
For more info or to donate to support the First Annual David Patrick Underwood Thanksgiving Memorial, contact Antwon Cloird at (510) 776-9620 or [email protected].