By the end of the inaugural March Against Violence last June, organizer Patricia Hicks and a handful of supporters had come up with a way to do something about the violence they were protesting.
“We made the decision right then and there to do youth mentoring in River Glen,” said Hicks, a Richmond County parole officer and pastor.
Hicks is serving again as an organizer for the second annual March Against Violence. The 1-mile march and rally begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at May Park Community Center, 622 Fourth St.
“We are tired of the violence. People are appalled. They’re sick of it,” Hicks said. “We believe we can enact change.”
Every week, 20-30 youths meet at River Glen Apartments’ recreation center for the mentoring program Hicks launched last July.
“We focus on character-building,” she said. “We’ve been on field trips. We’ve been on community-service projects. We’ve been all over the CSRA introducing them to anyone that would enrich their lives.”
Teens and children from the apartment complex on East Telfair Street spent their mentoring sessions Thursday night preparing signs for Saturday’s walk.
They’ll carry the signs in a peaceful protest that begins and ends in May Park, Hicks said. The Rev. Charles Goodman, of Tabernacle Baptist Church, will speak at a rally afterward. A youth choir and mime ministry are scheduled to perform. A resource fair will have nonprofits, military recruiters and college representatives.
“Last year, the response we had was overwhelming. The outpouring from people was awesome,” said Hicks, who estimated more than 250 people gathered downtown for the event. “People were inspired.”