Led by the Rochester police, dozens of campers from the Community Lutheran Ministry walked the streets of their neighborhood to spread messages of love in a time when — both nationally and locally — crimes of hate and fear have been occurring so frequently.
More than 11 million children and adults attend camp every year, most of who go for fun or to learn new outdoor skills. But this group of individuals took time out of their camping schedule to help their community understand that coming together is the best way to combat all of the negativity.
“With everything that’s going on in the community, with the killings and the conflict with, law enforcement – we’d like the kids to understand it’s not necessarily law enforcement’s part, it’s not the community’s fault. We all need to come together to fix it,” said Frederick Perry, lead counselor.
The march that occurred this month was not the Ministry’s first, either. It has been located on Joseph Ave. for over 40 years and its members have marched many times before.
In an area that’s surrounded by poverty and violent crimes, the ministry is a refuge for many. Children from the community go there for after school tutoring, weekend activities, summer camp, and even career counseling.
And the Ministry isn’t the only group trying to promote love and acceptance over hate.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community gathered this week to discuss the results of the U.S. Presidential election and the effects it may have on them in the future.
On election night, one Rochester man was the target of a hate crime. Greg Ventura reported that he came home from dinner to find the Pride flag on his porch had been lit on fire while he was out.
While many members of the Rochester LGBTQ+ community are concerned about the way the election results may affect their rights, leaders are making efforts to remain positive.
“Let’s acknowledge this is where we are. What does this mean, and how do we make this a victory for everybody?” said Gabriella Hermosa.
Until Hermosa’s questions can be answered, organizations like the Community Lutheran Ministry will continue to spread messages of positivity and kindness.