Park Rapids groups plan Saturday event to promote peace, unity
Organizers of a peaceful demonstration planned Saturday look at Park Rapids as the perfect community to promote its cause. The Social Action Brigade of Park Rapids, in conjunction with Headwaters Intervention Center, will host Minnesotans for Uni...
Organizers of a peaceful demonstration planned Saturday look at Park Rapids as the perfect community to promote its cause.
The Social Action Brigade of Park Rapids, in conjunction with Headwaters Intervention Center, will host Minnesotans for Unity in Park Rapids on Saturday, July 23 at 2 p.m.
In light of the recent shootings in Minnesota and across the country, now is the time for positive social action, the Social Action Brigade said in a statement. Organizers are thinking big and would like Minnesotans to form a human hand-holding chain stretching from Duluth to Moorhead, including along Highway 34 through the Park Rapids area.
Amy Wallace, founder of Social Action Brigade, invites people in the Park Rapids area to join in "showing the world that we will not react with fear and violence, we will remain united through love and equality."
Wallace said all people need to do is show up and hold a hand. Love and unity can have the same domino effect as hate and violence, the statement read.
Wallace looks at Park Rapids as a community with diversity in race, education and socio-economic status among its residents.
"We are a nice, peaceful community," She said. "We’re a great place to show diversity can work. We should be proud of ourselves and that’s why we’re the focus here."
Wallace is optimistic people will show their support for the event, but realistically it would take approximately 250,000 people to complete the human chain from Duluth to Moorhead. The Park Rapids demonstration is a start. It’s a grassroots effort to promote peace and unity across the state, and Wallace said they do plan to make this an annual event, bigger and better each year.
Headwaters Intervention is also supporting the event locally.
"Our involvement is to get across the idea that peace is possible," said Amy Workman, director of Headwaters Intervention in Park Rapids. "To demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be violent to raise awareness and fight for a cause. Our personal motivation as an agency is to raise awareness about domestic violence."
While larger communities are dealing with issues of racial tension, particularly with law enforcement, Wallace wants the Park Rapids area to lead in embracing unity and peace.
"We are not afraid of our law enforcement here. We want Park Rapids to be a great example for the state and Minnesota to be an example for the nation," She said.
With the potential for people standing, walking and parked along Highway 34 in the Park Rapids area as part of the demonstration this Saturday, the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office urges pedestrians and motorists to use caution. If a human chain does form, they will not be allowed to block roadways.
"With our wide demographical content in our region specifically, we have proven that co-existing is possible. We want to show our law enforcement that we support them 100 percent," Workman added. "Our agency relies on police involvement and trust between agencies, between people, is a huge factor."
Workman stressed the importance of supporting one another as a community.
"If everyone can just step back a moment and really look at the person standing next to you – whether in uniform, or a different color skin, or a black and blue face from being punched by a significant other – the person standing next to you is just a person, a REAL person, who just wants to live, who just wants to go home to their family."
A reception is planned in Park Rapids at 6 p.m. with live music and keynote speakers planned in Heartland Park following the demonstration.
The event has the support of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.
For more information about the peaceful demonstration planned contact 218-732-7413 or email Socialactionbrigade@gmail.com .