SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Activists in Shreveport are using inspiration from the Civil Rights era to jump-start a new grassroots movement and include an important person from the city’s past.
Community organizers from several groups came together Thursday afternoon outside of Little Union Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Junior once spoke. The groups announced upcoming public events observing Juneteenth called “The Power of Grassroots Activism.”
A series of meetings aim to get young people involved and away from crime. The meeting will also feature Shreveport native David Dennis who was a part of the Freedom Riders during Civil Rights in the 1960s’
Freedom Riders were activists who rode interstate buses into segregated parts of the country because even though the Supreme Court had ruled segregated buses were unconstitutional, southern states were not enforcing it.
“Their lives were threatened and they knew that. But it shows the courage and hopefully young people, young and old, black and white. It takes courage. You’re not going to have change without sacrifice,” said Hersy Jones, Jr. C.A.R.E., Cedar Grove Neighborhood Association.
“It’s time to make a change. It’s time to get active. It’s time to press the city leaders, go to city council, the school board, the Caddo commission. It’s time to do that and get some changes, some policy changes. A better overall quality of life. You want someone to come in and help but you’re not trying to help yourself,” said Ashley D. Bell, People’s Promise.
A Workshop on Community Activism will be held at Little Union Baptist Church at 10:30 a.m. A Conversation with Dave Dennis will be Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. at Peaceful Rest Baptist Church.