Even as they put the final touches on Saturday’s march against violence, the Communities Coming Together committee was discussing what they want to do next year.
Keeping the momentum going is a crucial component to eliminating violent actions that hurt the whole community, said members. The committee is made up of representatives of Washington & Jefferson College and the city. They settled on an anti-violence march as the first step in raising awareness in the wake of the homicide of college student Tim McNerney.
McNerney died Oct. 4 from a blow to the back of the head as he and a friend were walking back to campus. Police are still searching for his killers.
The march will begin at 11 a.m. in front of Old Main on the college campus where brief remarks will be given by those touched by violence and those working to eradicate it.
Marchers will head west on Beau Street to Main Street. The march will make a right turn on Cherry Avenue and pass the homicide memorial behind the Family Court Center. It will then proceed south on Main to East Maiden Street and then north onto College Street and back to the campus.
A few others, including McNerney’s father, are scheduled to address the crowd. There will be refreshments, and tables will be set up in order that service groups and other organizations can provide information on their activities.
Those participating are asked to wear yellow.
Damian Bosiacki, W&J’s student government president, has been handing out fliers about the march and is hoping for a good student turnout. Fliers and posters, designed by W&J student Chris Griffith, have also been distributed to downtown businesses. Several businesses have agreed to provide water, sandwiches and pastries for the event. Others have made cash donations.
Washington Mayor Brenda Davis hopes to have a stop violence awareness week next year with activities in the local schools for students.
“I truly believe this is about education, and we need to educate the youth and young adults,” she said. “We live here, we work here and we don’t want to tolerate it,” she added.
Donations for the march still are being accepted at City Hall.