ASHLAND Saturday’s March for Change in Ashland is just the beginning of things to come, according to its organizers.
The march will start at 2 p.m. at River Front Park, with the crowd leaving around 2:15 p.m. Demonstrators will march to Central Park, where there will be speakers and tables offering water, light snacks, voter registration and information from Ashland Community and Technical College.
Marie Troxler, an organizer, said the march is just the inauguration of a new group she and others are trying to get started in the city — Ashland For Change.
“When we got together, we didn’t want this to be a one-time thing,” Troxler said. “We wanted to establish something to move us forward as a community. We want this to be a movement.”
Faith Fountain, another organizer, said a lot of times racism is downplayed in the city, but people don’t know what to do about it.
“A lot of people don’t think it happens around here, but people of color see it,” she said. “If we want to change things, we need to provide the education and resources so people can recognize it and bring about change.”
One focal point for the organization is black history, both women said. Troxler said very little black history is taught in the area’s school systems and what is taught is “white-washed.”
“We need to put more black history into the education system,” Troxler said. “When you have people talking about hosing protesters down, there’s a history that goes with that. If we had better education in the school systems, people would recognize that’s what happened during the 1960s.”
Another educational push is to have the Highlands Museum hold an exhibit about black history, according to the organizers.
While education is the main focus of the group, it will also support helping the local NAACP become more active and help low-income folks hook up with resources such as clothing for job interviews, Troxler said.
At Saturday’s event, the organization will sell T-shirts for $20 a pop, according to Fountain. All proceeds from the T-shirt sales will go toward funding the Highlands exhibit and future events for the organization.
Anyone with health conditions precluding them from walking need not worry — bus shuttle will be provided between River Front and Central Park.
Plans for a Juneteenth — the day marking Union soldiers enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas — event are also in the works for next year, Troxler said.
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