Natchitoches’ Ross Williams Park was the scene of a Stop the Violence Rally sponsored by the Natchitoches Coalition on Homelessness and Community Collaborators. The rally was organized as part of a series of gatherings in response to the increasing number of shootings in the city.
The rally featured a DJ, local rapper Uncle Ugg, and a phenomenally talented young lady, NCHS junior Aaliya Edwards who sang several pieces for the crowd, the last one with her mother. Another NCHS student, Tristen Jefferson, showed oratorical skills far beyond his years in a superbly done closing prayer. Jamar Benjamin and Tristen Jefferson served as Masters of Ceremony. Natchitoches City Councilwoman at Large Betty Sawyer introduced each speaker, performer, and notable visitor.
Mayor Williams and police chief Nikeo Collins each spoke to the more than 75 persons at the rally. The Hawg Riders, a local motorcycle group, came out to the rally as did Louisiana Teen & Adult challenge. The hard-working young people of Weaver Elites and Legendary Steppers performed as well. City Council members Betty Sawyer and Rosemary Washington were joined by School Board members Steven Harris and Dorothy McGaskey. Community leader Mr. Johnny Barnes and his crew served up some savory fare to the hungry crowd. Kedrin Seastrunk, a former NSU football player and NCHS coach, currently serving as a teacher and pastor of a local church, gave an inspired talk to the assembly as did pastor Isiah Anderson.
These rallies are a vital part of the fight to stop the violence arising in our community. It is an issue that affects all of us. The Natchitoches Parish Journal would like to commend the hard-working community minded people who gave of their time and resources to help make our community a better place to live.