SOUTHSIDE ST. PETERSBURG LEADERS CALL FOR AN END TO BLACK-ON-BLACK VIOLENCE08/03/06
This Saturday, August 5th, a group of churches and organizations will come together for a 1,000+ person march and rally to call on the community to unite to "Stop the Violence," and end the string of black-on-black murders in South St. Petersburg. Marchers will carry poster-sized photos displaying the faces of the 85 young African-Americans who have lost their lives in fights, shootings and senseless violence on the streets of South St. Petersburg within the past five years. The August 5th March is the first public step in a community-wide battle to end black-on-black crime. Several organizations are already on the front-lines of the battle. Rep. Frank Peterman sponsored legislation this year to form a statewide Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. The Urban League leads a dedicated Black-on-Black Crime prevention program. Well-known advocate 'Mama Tee', as well as the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance are organizing and supporting the parents of several slain youth. KINFOLKS, supported by Catholic Charities, is working with ex-offenders to help prevent them from re-entering crime and prison. Now, at least a dozen churches are organizing to put role models, volunteers, advocates, and evangelists to work to help solve the problem. The Calling the Men Home Project has galvanized 2,000 men at 6 churches to unite to help lead our community out of bondage. These congregations will join together with The Nehemiah Project, a collective of 8 churches united to lead social change. Along with Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist and Rock of Jesus Missionary Baptist, participating churches include WINGS Fellowship, Word of Life Fellowship, Souls Harvest, and Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church. Rev. Frank Peterman, says "Unity is the only approach. Once we unite, we will be able to invest the volunteer and advocacy resources needed for a full-scale attack on the problem." Rev. Louis Murphy, Pastor of Mt Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist and an organizer of the march says "Our Pastors have been organizing for this moment for close to one year. It's time to call the community together."