Residents of Southwest Philadelphia gathered at Mitchell Elementary School at 56th Street and Kingsessing Avenue for a “Dismiss the Myth” march on Friday.
Unfortunately, the march had to be postponed due to inclement weather, but not before a host of participants gathered at the school.
The march will now be held June 29 at 6 p.m. at Mitchell Elementary School and will proceed up Kingsessing Avenue to the Kingsessing Recreation Center at 49th Street and Kingsessing Avenue.
Before the postponement, representatives from diverse groups and organizations gathered at the school to dispel the myth that members of Southwest Philadelphia are apethetic about crime and violence.
Participants gathered bearing signs and t-shirts with organizational logos and anti-violence messages concerning misconceptions about the Southwest community.
Organized by the Kingsessing Fifth Division of Community Neighbors (K5DCN) founded by community organizer Greg Benjamin, the march was called to galvanize the community.
“We want to dispel the myth that we are not concerned about the murders and our youth because there are great concerns about it,” Benjamin said. “We are concerned about crime and we would also like to dispel the myth that our community groups and community leaders do not have an interest in trying to work together and cooperate in the best interest of our community.”
Benjamin and the members of K5DCN reached out to a number of organizations and their leaders including EPIC Stakeholders, Southwest Community Advisory Group, the Southwest Action Group, Men United for a Better Philadelphia and others groups.
“I realize that this is such a crucial issue facing our young men in the neighborhood and we just wanted to take a stand and say ‘this is not okay with us,’” said Carrie Davis of City Lights.
Also on hand was state Sen. Anthony H. Williams.
“I am here not only as a senator but also because I am a neighbor and I come from the area,” said Williams, who is also a Southwest resident. “Clearly government can’t solve all of these problems and there is a part of us that haven’t given up… they do really believe in peace and compassion and humanity.”
Mark Harrell of Men United for a Better Philadelphia, a co-block captain and resident of Southwest echoed the senator’s remarks.
“What makes this march significant is that we as a people have to understand that we do have to care about what goes on in our communities,” he said. “A lot of times its Black on Black and some people just turn their heads and say ‘Oh, well, that’s going to happen.’ We want to dispel the myth. If something goes on in our community, we are concerned.”