On Saturday, April 23, members of the faith-based community led a motorcade through the city’s most troubled and violent neighborhoods in an effort to speak out against violence. More than 50 cars seating religious leaders, city police, county police, and members of the community rolled to ten of Richmond’s roughest areas to promote the idea that Richmond is a united city and to encourage the community to be active in condemning gang-violence.
The caravan began in South Richmond, rolled through Central Richmond and ended at Shields-Reid Park in North Richmond, stopping along the way at Crescent Park, the Pullman Apartments, Easter Hill, Richmond Village, and spots where young men have been killed due to gang-violence. Members of the caravan circled around each neighborhood flooding the streets with sirens and honking horns before getting out of their vehicles to say a prayer and encourage others to join the motorcade.
The event—called “Making Noise for Peace”—was organized by Pastor Henry Washington of Operation Richmond in response to a spate of recent shootings and homicides in unincorporated North Richmond.
Operation Richmond formed in response to a shooting in February 2010, when three armed men entered the New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ during a Sunday service, and began shooting. Two teenage brothers were wounded in the incident. The group holds activities and events to bring community members together and encourage them to speak out against the violence on Richmond’s streets.