A diverse gathering of concerned leaders and community activists are heralding “Walk For Peace and Memphis Family Day” on October 12.
Details were shared Friday morning at the Unity Press Conference held on the grounds of Wooddale High School where the actual Walk For Peace will begin.
According to organizers, participants will march from the school to McFarland Community Center, where the Memphis Family Day will unfold. Families are invited to come out and bring their grills. There will be a bouncy house and other amusements for children, along with music and community fellowship.
“We’ve got to start somewhere,” said Minister Anthony Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque 55. “We are having this Walk For Peace because we must begin the process of reclaiming our streets. We are uniting for this purpose for greater impact.
“This will be our First Annual Memphis Family Day. We just want families to come out and enjoy a family reunion day. Our problem is that we don’t see ourselves as family, and we must begin to see ourselves as family.”
The upcoming events are being sponsored by McFarland Community Center, V. Williams Agency, Drum Squad Records, Heal the Hood and Muhammad Mosque 55.
Shelby County Board of Commissioners Chairman Van Turner expressed support for the collaboration.
“I am in full support because a bullet doesn’t care whether you’re Muslim or Christian, it’s death no matter what. We need to come together and not let our differences separate us.”
Stevie Moore, founder of Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives (F.F.U.N.), also conveyed a unifying tone.
“We are too divided,” he said. “My son was killed in 2003 with an AK47 assault rifle. Gun violence is not a black or white issue. It’s not a Republican or Democrat issue. It is all of our issue. It affects all of us.
Minister Muhammad stressed that this effort is not a lone one. Similar events in myriad parts of the country are planned to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the Million Man March.
“We want to continue in that spirit of committing ourselves to making our communities once again safe and decent places to live,” said Minister Muhammad. “We don’t want to just stop here. We want to continue this effort. There are others who are calling for a Walk For Peace in their communities. This is just a start here. We have to start somewhere.”
Flyers advertising the upcoming events on October 12 refer to the African-American community as “a community in pain.” Reference is made to “senseless violence” in which “our youth are being victimized.”
Organizers hope to unite the community behind strategies for peace and reconciliation. The police are not our enemy, attendees were told.
“Let’s come out and encourage all of our family and neighbors to come out, and let’s have a good day,” said Muhammad. “Let us walk for peace and truly become peacekeepers. We thank God for allowing us to be ambassadors of peace.”
(For more information and to confirm participation, call 901-308-8725, or email [email protected])
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Tune in to TSDRadio on WLOK this Sunday from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to hear Kareem Ali talk about “March For Peace and Memphis Family Unity Day” on “Where Do We Go From Here?” with host Karanja A. Ajanaku, associate publisher and executive editor of The New Tri-State Defender.