by Petula Caesar
The idea of a march seems very old school and something that today’s high level of cynicism would discourage. Not so. Community leader Munir Bahar and Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott are bringing to you for a second year the 300 Men March tonight. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at 3400 West North Avenue, on the corner of West North Avenue and Hilton Street.
About this time last year Bahar and Scott pulled together a march to protest against the unending cycle of violence in Baltimore City’s communities. The grassroots effort quickly gained steam, and media attention as well as the attention of City Hall, and by the time the first march took place on July 3, 2013, well over 400 men walked the approximately ten miles from one side of North Avenue to the other and back again.
Among the six objectives of the 300 Men March are to “engage in positive dialogue with young community members and suggest alternatives to gun violence” and to “serve as a symbol of strength displaying the collective power of men united for one common mission.” These objectives are especially important in communities where men are often absent, whether they are lost to street violence, drug addiction, incarceration, or are simply directionless and not connected to their communities in positive ways. The show of strength combined with the interaction with young people can go a long way to create solutions at the source of the problem of street violence in the city.
Participation in this movement is not limited to men. There are definitely roles for women to play as well, and they are encouraged to offer their support to the march. As Bahar explained in a recent Baltimore Sun article by Dan Rodericks, “”Women have been very supportive…Women have been holding it down for a long time, especially in the black community, in the absence of men. They realize that men have to get it together — we have to talk to each other, men to men — and that’s what we’re about.”
The march is still looking for participants and supporters. Details are available on the event’s Facebook page, or you can visit www.300menmarch.com for more details and to register to participate tonight.
Serve as a symbol of strength displaying the collective power of men united for one common mission.