8th annual MLK peace march aims to 'empower communities'
Residents, advocates and officials took to the streets in Wilmington Monday for the 8th annual peace march.
The theme of this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day peace march in Wilmington was Let Our Voices Empower (L.O.V.E.) Communities.
CJ Bland with West Side Grows Together was one of the organizers. “Our voices have been for so long not empowered in our own communities,” he said. "So we wanted to have our community be heard and so a lot of the performers are in the community, from the community, from West Side. Our vendors are from West Side."
Wayde Bivins of Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc. says he walked in the march to represent the work of King and other civil rights activists. “To just inspire others to keep the peace, especially in the heart of Wilmington where the violence is high,” he said.
The number of shootings in the city last year was higher than the year before — but still down from 2017.
Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy, who walked in Monday’s march, sees this as progress. “I march every year when they have this march,” he said. “It’s about community engagement and everybody coming together for a better city.”
The peace march was hosted by West Side Grows Together, Public Allies Delaware, 302 Guns Down, and Wilmington Peacekeepers — and followed a community street clean up with the Delaware Nature Society.