Elected officials, community leaders, pastors, church groups and citizens from all walks of life gathered together to walk in harmony Sunday evening.
An estimated 400 to 500 people participated in the Community Prayer Walk that began in song at the Scottsboro Boys Museum and ended in song at the Jackson County Courthouse.
Scottsboro Mayor Robin Shelton greeted the group at the Scottsboro Boys Museum. Shelton said he was blessed to call Scottsboro his home and to be one of the leaders in the community. He recognized Anthony McCamey and Shelia Washington for their roles in planning the walk.
“They are true leaders for what they do,” said Shelton.
Shelton mentioned the meeting two weeks ago with several local leaders to plan the walk.
“We talked about outside interference. We talked about people coming to do something to our home that we didn’t welcome. We had a lot of good open discussion; a lot of prayer and you see what we came up with. We’re a very united community, and I am very blessed to call this home,” said Shelton.
Pastor Lacey Smith from St. Paul AME Church read scripture from Amos 5:24 and from Isaiah 40:4-5.
Joh Ellison, a member of St. Paul AME Church spoke at the prayer walk.
“We’re all here for a purpose. We’re all here to be together, to come as one,” said Ellison.
He said it important for young people to come together in unity to end violence and racism.
McCamey also spoke at the walk on Sunday. He thanked everyone for coming out to walk. He said it was great to see all the people come together, and he said it meant a great deal to see all the people there.
Circuit Judge elect Brent Benson kicked off the event at the Courthouse. He read a passage of scripture and a portion of the Lawyer’s Prayer.
“Remember we have to stand together as a community, and as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.,” said Benson.
Acting Police Chief Ron Latimer also spoke at the Courthouse.
“The men and women of the Scottsboro Police Department are committed to serving every citizen. We are committed to treating everyone with fairness and equality. Acts of brutality and excessive force will not be tolerated at the Scottsboro Police Department,” said Latimer.
Dr. Gary Speers recounted the lessons his mother taught him about dealing with the police while growing up in Birmingham. He also spoke about justice and unity. He said this was a big step for the community.
Shelia Washington of the Scottsboro Boys Museum spoke at the Courthouse as well.
“Prayer changes things. I hope we walk away from this with hope. I believe all of us stand today for social justice,” said Washington.