Unity March held in downtown Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Unity March celebrated Juneteenth in Grand Rapids Friday evening.

The march was not just a protest it was also a celebration of freedom at Rosa Parks Circle. The event featured music and ended with a barbeque.

Organizers said the goal of the march was to unify people from all walks of life.

“I think we are getting to a point now where everybody recognizes that there needs to be systemic changes at different levels inside the community — at all these different levels. But the one thing that I think we need to get back to is uniting the community,” said Al Willis, founder of Citizens Leadership Council. “People of color, even. There’s a lot of people of color who don’t know what Juneteenth is and that stems from some of the systemic changes we need to make in education. So, we want to focus on educating them and then also making sure it’s a celebration because Juneteenth really is a holiday and that’s what we want to get out of it.”

There will be a separate march Saturday for children. It will start at 10 a.m. at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

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