18th ANNUAL PEACE & UNITY MARCH 2012
On Sunday, September 30, 2012, hundreds of local residents will be joining the 18TH ANNUAL WATSONVILLE PEACE & UNITY MARCH taking place at 11am on the Watsonville Plaza. The Peace ceremony begins at 11:00am and peace march at 12:30pm. Several community leaders, family members of victims of violence and youth will be addressing the effects of violence on our communities.
“This march is an ongoing effort to stop the destruction of our youth and community by violence,” said Yesenia Molina, an organizer of the Watsonville Peace and Unity Coalition. “It creates a community consciousness about becoming actively involved in reducing violence and improving our neighborhoods for our future generations.”
The Peace and Unity March has been an annual event since 1994 when the families of victims and our local community came together to organize an event to speak out against violence in the streets in South Santa Cruz County. With the increase of violence in Santa Cruz County in the last few years, it is critical to help promote and sustain events like this. “It is all our responsibility to make our community a safer place,” states Tomas Alejo, a community activist and event organizer.
Today, the march is still organized by local youth, local community groups and the growing number of families who have lost loved ones to violence. Event organizers are also working with the City of Watsonville to make the march a permanent event, co-sponsored by the City Council.
“Remaining proactive against violence has made a tremendous difference,” said Yesenia. “After this march first began sixteen years ago, we have seen other efforts emerge throughout our city to bring peace and unity to all our homes, schools, and neighborhoods, and to keep awareness and action focused on building positive community here in Watsonville.”
ALL FAMILIES WHO HAVE LOST LOVED ONES TO VIOLENCE ARE INVITED TO SET UP AN ALTAR BEFORE THE PEACE CEREMONY AT 8AM.
Keynote speaker: Cesar A. Cruz, founder of the Homies Empowerment Project of Oakland, CA.
Cesar A. Cruz is a human rights freedom fighter and educator. Currently, Cesar serves as the Executive Director for the Avenues Project, a visionary non-profit out of East Oakland Community High School. Cesar prefers his role as a counselor and teacher for the youth and is trying to get youth who gang bang to do so for freedom. He has received the Peacemaker of the Year award from the California State Assembly and the Outstanding Commitment to Justice Award from Pacifica Radio. He is the author of a volume of poetry and short stories entitled Revenge of the Illegal Alien: A Mexican Takes on the Empire.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
THE PEACE AND UNITY COALITION, THE WATSONVILLE BROWN BERETS, WHITE HAWK AZTEC DANCE GROUP, WATSONVILLE MAYOR EDUARDO MONTESINO, THE CITY OF WATSONVILLE, ASSEMBLYMEN LUIS ALEJO, PAJARO VALLEY FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, RAMIRO MEDRANO, JOVITA MOLINA, THE SPRINGFIELD GRANGE, THE CESAR CHAVEZ DEMOCRATIC CLUB, KARINA CERVANTEZ, ALI ESPINOZA, MARIA LUISA ALEJO, THE RESOURCE CENTER FOR NONVIOLENCE, FELIPE HERNANDEZ, DEFENSA DE LAS MUJERES, HARTNELL COLLEGE, THE OW FAMILY, AND SI SE PUEDE.
We invite your news agency the opportunity to cover this event, we hope to see you there. Thank you
WHAT: The 18th Annual Watsonville Peace & Unity March
WHEN: Sunday, September 30, 2012
TIME: 11:00am Opening Ceremony, 12:30pm March Begins
WHERE: Ceremony on City Plaza & March will take place throughout various neighborhoods.