The Baltimore Beloved Community Awakening Walk
Sept. 19th event seeks to promote peace and transform the city
Ursula V. Battle | 9/4/2015, 6 a.m.
BALTIMORE Lenett Nef'fahtiti Partlow-Myrick read an article that was written by the Rev. Bernette Jones, Senior Minister of One God One Thought Center for Better Living (OGOT) located on Coronado Road in Randallstown. The article was entitled “Nothing Is ‘Wrong’ In Baltimore: A New Thought Consciousness Perspective. “
The article discussed the divine ideas of a new community emerging in Baltimore, and was penned by Reverend Jones following the Freddie Gray riots. The article inspired Partlow-Myrick, and was the catalyst for the upcoming “Baltimore Beloved Community Awakening Walk for a Transformed City.”
The walk will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 19, 2015, and will begin at Harlem Park Square, and culminate with a Peace Pole planting ceremony in the Sandtown-Winchester community. A Peace Pole is a handcrafted monument that displays a message and prayer.
The event is being hosted by the Configuration Performing Arts Network, in partnership with One God One Thought Center, The Trail of Dreams World Peace Walkers, and Creating a Profound Sense of Community (CaPSoc)
“I was really touched by Rev. Jones’ article,” said Partlow-Myrick. “The article talked about the riots being something people go through during times of transition and emerging into something different and new. I wanted to contribute to what is emerging, and the restoration of peace on this earth. I started hearing other folks having this conversation, and decided to pull people together. From out of this group, the idea for the walk was born.”
She added, “There are a lot of overlapping visions in Baltimore, and people have to collaborate. I want people to know we have the power to bring together these collective visions to change Baltimore.”
Rose Dailey is the founding president and CEO of the Configuration Performing Arts Network, a nonprofit, grass roots organization.
“We seek to foster the legacy of Baltimore’s visual, fine, and performing arts within our youth,” said Dailey. “The Beloved Community Awakening Walk presents an opportunity to work toward a peaceful and loving Baltimore. I thought it was important for us to show our young people what involvement can be when you care about your community.”
Audri Scott Williams is global trustee of the United Religions Initiative (URI), and was the ‘vision keeper’ who led the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk. The humanitarian and author has led dozens of Peace Walks all over the world.
“Walking allows us to connect heart-to-heart and remember who we are,” she said. “ In the midst of that is the answer we are seeking.”
Scott Williams and Peace Walker Karen Hunter Watson traveled to Baltimore previously to unite with residents in the Westport and Randallstown communities to plant Peace Poles. The Alabama resident talked about her return to Baltimore.
“The first thing we learn is that we can’t come in and change the community,” she said. “I have to hold the energy, be a catalyst, and build on what the community wants. I will bring my passion, marry that with the passion of the community, and together we can have an impact and make a change. We are the support team.”
The walk coincides with the United Nations International Day of Peace. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly established September 21st as an annual day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and peoples throughout the world.
The Baltimore Beloved Community Awakening Walk will connect Baltimore to events and activities happening around the globe during that weekend leading up to September 21, 2015. The route for the walk will encompass Harlem Park, Uptown, Madison Heights, Midtown, Bolton Hill, Druid Heights & Sandtown-Winchester.
“I started a call for visioning,” recalled Rev. Jones as she reflected back on her article.
“Visioning is a spiritual technique for listening to God to give us direction for what we should do before we respond to circumstances that concern us. One of the things we discovered in listening to God is that people will talk about violence, injustice, and all the things they believe are wrong. However, not as many are willing to take a stand for peace, which will clear up violence.”
Rev. Jones, who helped erect the Peace Pole at her church, feels the walk can instill a new mindset.
“We looked at how we can implant the possibility of peace in the minds of people living in communities who are experiencing pain, violence, and poverty,” she said. “What we understand about peace is that you can respond appropriately to anything that is going on.”
She added, “Our focus through this walk is to awaken and walk for a transformed city. With every step we take during this walk, we will be planting a new conscious and a new city in solution-oriented ways. God has given us spirit of peace, love and sound mind. It is a stand for something good in our community and in the hearts and minds of all people.”
Registration and check-in for the event begins at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call (443) 857-2402.