Citing divisiveness they believed caused by the failed mayoral recall effort, a coalition of ministers and other faith leaders will gather for a Prayer March for Unity and news at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 3.
More than two dozen leaders are expected to join the demonstration.
At the news conference, leaders are expected to encourage New Orleans’ citizens of all races, gender and socioeconomic class to unite efforts to tackle the city’s more pressing issues.
The walk will begin at the corner of St. Charles and Napoleon avenues and end at the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Cadiz Street, which is near the residence of Mr. Rick Farrell, a major financial backer of the recall effort.
The endpoint was strategically, organizers say, as they plan to make a direct request to Farrell to publicly apologize for the recall effort that they say heightened the divisiveness and tension in New Orleans.
The recall effort put certain neighborhoods against other neighborhoods, Whites against Blacks, and neighbors against neighbors. The failed recall effort also used scare tactics and antiquated, stereotypical language that attacked Black and female leadership, organizers of the unity march say.
The coalition is calling on Farrell to join others concerned about the city’s challenges to channel energy and resources to helping address issues such as homelessness along with business and economic inequities.
“Change will only come from bottom up, not top down,” says organizer Bishop Tom Watson declares. “The people who are true stakeholders and those from grass roots spaces must connect and link resources and influences to change the climate in our city. That hasn’t ever really happened in New Orleans. But as Holy Week looms, I am filled with the evidence of salvation; and I remain hopeful that this type of change can and must take place. It is imperative for future generations.”
The Rev. Watson stresses that while this is a rebuke of recent actions, he and other faith leaders welcome an opportunity to meet with Mr. Farrell to discuss workable ways to bridge multiple gaps in the city.