The September 27 March for a Culture of Peace in Wilmington is becoming a movement. (It’s even changed its name to Movement for a Culture of Peace.) The energy and spirit of the march are captured in this report by WITN channel 22. Organizers and co-sponsors will be meeting again today to plan future actions together.
About 25 members of First Unitarian Church participated in yesterday’s March and Rally for a Culture of Peace in Wilmington. These photos are by Elizabeth Siftar, who described the march as “a powerful experience.” Leave a comment on this post to describe your experience.
Click on first photo to enlarge into a slideshow.
The March for a Culture of Peace in Wilmington, set for Saturday Sept. 27, has designated its starting and ending points.
The one-mile march will form at 18th and Washington Streets, at the southern edge of Brandywine Park, the site of the war memorials. The march will cross through several East Side neighborhoods, both above and below Market Street, and end at Brown-Burton Winchester Park at 25th and Pine streets.
First Unitarian Church’s Social Justice Forum is one of three principal organizers of the march, which will culminate with a half-hour rally in the city park, also known to local residents as Price’s Park. The church has joined longtime Delaware peace activists Pacem in Terris and the community group Wilmington Peacekeepers in organizing the march. Weekly meetings of the steering committee are being held at First Unitarian on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm in Room 25.
The march is gathering an impressive list of co-sponsors—church and community groups concerned with the impact of gun violence on our city and its families, especially young people. Labor Day Weekend saw the 19th and 20th fatalities on our streets in 2014, a record-setting pace of murders.
A list of the sponsoring organizations is found at the march website along with a call for additional sponsors. Our goal is to build a new statewide coalition of individuals and groups who will work together to solve this heartbreaking problem.
The march will begin at 3:00 pm on Sept. 27. Unitarian Universalists are called to show how they are truly standing on the side of love by turning out in large numbers to support our neighbors.
For up-to-date information on the March for a Culture of Peace in Wilmington, go to the march website. Subscribe for regular email updates. Come to meetings. Put the march on your calendar and get to 18th and Washington by 3:00 on the 27th.
Remember, showing up is the first step in healing our city. You may not live in Wilmington, but you can make a difference.
Sept. 27: March for a Culture of Nonviolence
Save the date to demonstrate your commitment to peace in our city.
Pacem in Terris, Wilmington Peacekeepers, and the First Unitarian Church Social Justice Forum are the lead organizers of a community march as part of national Campaign Nonviolence Week (Sept. 21–27). Plans are rapidly developing for a significant response by a coalition of faith and community groups to violence in our community—an event that will begin to build a culture of peace in Wilmington by involving the broader community in opposing all violence.
Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, no matter your circumstances or your address, it’s time to show unconditional love for Delaware families who daily face the risk of violence in their neighborhoods. We’re all one community. Every Delawarean needs to bear witness to the toll taken and the lives shattered—to rise up against this senseless violence whether or not you are personally affected by it.
The march will begin at 3:00 pm and end at 4:30. Watch the Connector for the starting and ending points of the march and information on how to participate. If you have suggestions or wish to help, leave a comment on the Connector or email Jeff Lott. The church and its organizing partners—Pacem in Terris and Wilmington Peacekeepers— are seeking additional sponsors and participating organizations, especially churches. The next planning meeting will be Tuesday, August 19, at 2:00 pm at First Unitarian Church.
Want to make a difference in our city? Showing up is the first step.
Our friends at the Wilmington Peacekeepers have urged us to attend tomorrow night’s Wilmington town hall on gun violence. The following announcement was posted on the city’s website. It would be great to have one or more members of First Unitarian Church at this meeting.
Mayor Dennis P. Williams, joined by Chief of Police Bobby Cummings, members of the Wilmington Police Department, and key City officials, will host a town hall meeting at P.S. DuPont Middle School to discuss public safety strategies to address gun violence on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
The Town Hall Meetings will serve as an opportunity for the citizens of the local community to directly engage with the senior leadership of the Williams Administration and Wilmington Police Department about public safety. Chief Cummings and the police will share the strategies to reduce violent crime, such as the sector deployment and implementation of the Cease Violence Initiative.
“Public safety remains one of the top priorities of my Administration, and the police department continues to work towards making our communities safer,” said Mayor Williams. “Our officers remain committed to building relationships with City residents and community members as a way to prevent and reduce crime. Hopefully, this town hall meeting will provide an opportunity for an open conversation about reducing crime and violence in our city.”
All community members are invited and encouraged to attend the town hall.
Details on the meeting are in the Upcoming Events column of the Connector. If you go, please report on the meeting to Jeff Lott for inclusion in the next Connector posting. Take pictures!
On July 10, more than 20 members of First Unitarian Church joined a street meeting and rally called by the Wilmington Peacekeepers, a grass-roots organization that seeks to end violence on the streets of our city. Wilmington, Delaware, is among the most violent cities of its size in the country.
The Peacekeepers “street meeting” was called after Crystal Brown, a 43-year-old mother, was shot and killed as she left a corner store in her neighborhood. She was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire of a gunfight in the street.
A march from the site of the shooting at Seventh and Adams ended with a rally in Helen Chambers Park at Sixth and Madison.
The following Sunday, the First Unitarian Church’s monthly community offering was directed to the Peacekeepers for their programs, which include spiritual awakening, personal responsibility, safer streets, education, mentoring, and unity among all groups and peoples to bring peace to the community. Terry Walls, building manager at First Unitarian, is an active member of the Peacekeepers.
Photos by Jeffrey Lott and Suzanne Perry: