In commemoration of the one year anniversary of the March 2010 South Capitol Street Tragedy, several community partners have planned a series of events that will continue to build a community-based movement against violence. The overarching theme for these events is “From Pain to Purpose” with an emphasis on the community healing itself. The first event in the series was a solidarity walk and candle light vigil which took place on March 22, 2011. Participants met in the parking lot of the Giant Food Store on Alabama Avenue, SE and marched to 1333 Alabama Avenue, SE, the location where Jordan Howe was murdered.
Over 100 people came out to show their support. In attendance were representatives from local government agencies, law enforcement, and clergy as well as a significant youth turnout. Speakers and supporters included Norman Williams and Diane Howe; the parents of murder victim Jordan Howe, MPD Police Chief Cathy Lanier, US Attorney Ronald Machen, At-Large Councilmember Sekou Biddle, Representatives from Council Chairman Kwame Brown’s Office, a number of clergy led by Rev. Donald Isaac (ERCPCP), Pastor Bernice Parker (Faith Presbyterian Church), Pastor Tracy Blanchard (Freedom Fellowship Church), Rev. Kelly Wilkins (Covenant Baptist Church), Rev. LaVerne Harley (Abigail), Rev. Greg Anderson (ERCPCP), Min. Kevin Copeland (I Am My Brother’s Keeper), Trayon White (H.I.C.K.S.) and the East of the River Clergy, Police, Community Partnership Clergy Response Team.
Many returned on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 for a prayer vigil where despite the rain, participants gathered at the corner of Brandywine and South Capitol Street (the site of several of the shootings) and subsequently walked over to Faith Presbyterian Church for a community dialogue with Mayor Vince Gray and Police Chief Cathy Lanier. These events were the first of several planned to remember the slain and ban together in the fight against violence. The final event in this series includes a Memorial Bike Ride & Rally to take place on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at the Sylvan Theater. The bike rally will be hosted by the Organized Chaos Motorcycle Club.
“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.