More than 100 people rallied in Rowen Park Saturday, August 19th, 2017 to call for "Unity for Racial Understanding."
The rally was held in response to the tragedy at Charlottesville's white supremacist rally on August 12 and the multiple incidents of racial hatred that occurred in the Muskegon area last week.
"Most of us want to respond with some type of goodness to the hate that we see", said Tara Foreman, who passed out signs at a nearby event. The signs read, "Hate has no home here," and many were on display in Rowen Park.
"People of color -- African Americans -- particularly in Muskegon, make this town what it is," Foreman said. "It's a great place to live, and any messages that say otherwise have no place here."
The goal of the rally was to put unity in the community, said Eddie Sanders Jr., the event's organizer.
"People are coming to Rowen Park," Sanders Jr. said. "A lot of people wouldn't even come down Sherman Boulevard. But people are coming here to say, 'You know what? I am willing to do whatever I need to do to help further this cause of peace in Muskegon County.'"
During the rally, Sanders Jr. urged people to hug someone they didn't know, saying it was a first step to more unity.
"We can't do it all in one meeting," he said. "But in small increments, we can just continue to tear down walls and walked through doors -- pushing this unity and pushing this love."
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