No matter what, attempts to clean up or improve a city always come down to one thing – the ability to walk the streets safely.
On Saturday August 6, the Peace and Safety Walk aims to call attention to just that as part of ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day.
Peace walks are not new. Detroit has seen its fair share in the past. They are ways for members of a community to show in a peaceful way they don’t want to accept crime, violence, or other social issues. This is, however, the first peace march connected with Neighborhoods Day.
This peace walk is largely spearheaded by the Black Family Development’s Derek Blackman and the Detroit Chapter of the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) Reverend Aaron McCarthy.
The walk starts in three places and at different times. All the walks will focus on crime hot spots and signing up groups for the Project Green Light protection program.
Project Green Light began on January 1 of this year when the Detroit Police Department (DPD) partnered with eight gas stations with real-time cameras installed that connect to police headquarters. It is part of a ground-breaking crime-fighting partnership between local businesses, the City of Detroit and community groups.
Here are the times and locations for the three walks.
The Cody Rouge Peace and Safety Walk runs from 3:30 p.m-5:00 p.m. in collaboration with Cody Rouge Action Alliance and the Franklin Park Community Association. The walk starts at Joy Rd. at the Southfield Freeway and ends on Grand Blvd.
The people involved will consist of the clergy, many of the congregations of 15 local churches, and others.
Members of each of the church’s clergy will speak to those attending about how best to address violence, crime and poverty and offer solutions, most of which is expected to center around the need to stand together against crime. There is powerful.
Black Family Development and the SCLC have been working together to put a coalition of church groups together along with scores of other faith-based efforts, including Neighborhood Peace Walks, to battle crime and improve neighborhoods.
Founded 38 years ago, Black Family Development has created 248 block clubs in the Osborn community and 160 block clubs in the Cody Rouge Community. Each of those block clubs has created a stronger sense of neighborhood unity and has helped residents come together to solve problems and build a stronger healthier community.
The goal of the peace march is to do the same.
“Saturday will be a beginning of a united effort to lower the poverty levels in Detroit,” says SCLC’s McCarthy. “A united effort to lower crime and violence.”
McCarthy expects more than 100 young people to join the walk.
If the name Southern Leadership Council seems familiar, it should. It was co-founded in 1957 by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and was a major part of most civil rights works of the era. It has not remained silent with its community outreach.
One of the last things King was working on before he was assassinated was the Poor People’s campaign, an attempt to register disenfranchised people to vote. That process was restarted recently by the SCLC. In Detroit alone, 200 new voters have been registered thanks to work by McCarthy and his chapter. The SCLC hopes to sign up more voters during the peace march.
During the Peace and Safety Walk those attending will hear strong messages from the clergy and other speakers about the need to work together. That’s an important step to making collaboration real for everyone in Detroit.
The Kresge Foundation is one of ARISE Detroit!’s major funders.