PLAINFIELD, NJ — An A.W.A.R.E.ness Peaceful March brought communities together on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Library Park in Plainfield.
The Plainfield Public School’s Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC), in partnership with RARE Academy, the Plainfield Education Association (PEA), North Plainfield Education Association (NPEA), and Sigma Community Enrichment Initiative (SCEI), held an A.W.A.R.E.ness Peaceful March. The purpose was to educate communities by building diverse and inclusive relationships, and to share social issues that impact both neighborhoods and schools.
Saturday's event kicked off with remarks by Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp. Comments from Board of Education members Richard Wyatt and Carmencita Pile followed.
Wyatt said, "What a joyous occasion it is to see the Plainfields stand together in solidarity. We have enough things that divide us, like streets, counties, and municipalities; however, it is important that we find common ground and come together to address pertinent issues that impact our communities. Alone, we can make an impact; however, together, we can make a change."
"Education is the equalizer," Wyatt added, saying, "we must make sure that our young scholars receive a quality education. Just because America doesn't make education a priority, doesn't mean that we can't."
Pile added, "I just want to say Black Lives Matter, yes, but our Black children's education matters as well. Let's not forget that."
Organizers encouraged attendees to take pictures and share on social media using the hashtag #AWAREPlainfield.
Plainfield Education Association President Keith Coston speaks at Saturday's event.
Jamal Guye, a 2020 graduate of Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advanced Studies, or P.A.A.A.S., recites Langston Hughes' poem, "I, Too" (video care of Farah Pidgeon)
After some speeches, the participants begin their march.
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