Annual People's Unification Rally to be held Sept. 16

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Sep 12, 2017 at 6:48 PM

Local NAACP member and CAUSE leader Kenneth Bonner will bring local social justice organizations together on Sept. 16 in Founders Park to rally for social justice and discuss ways to combine the efforts of local activists.

The People’s Unification Rally, which has been described as a “multicultural event aimed at bringing people of all races together in a massive movement of racial harmony, love and unity,” will start at 2 p.m. and feature presentations by youth, social justice resource information tables, guest speakers and a challenge to local, state and national politicians. 

Bonner, who is no stranger to political activism, said it is time to “change the paradigm” of social justice activism. 

“My main objective is bringing people together who wouldn’t otherwise come together, unifying agendas, identifying common causes between communities that we can work on and addressing our social justice challenges,” Bonner said.

Many of the local social justice organizations find themselves working alone, when they could be working together, Bonner said. To him, it seems that many of these groups have the same aims. 

“There’s a whole lot of social justice groups with different agendas that could be working together,” he said. “It seems like we’re all working in different directions but all working for the common good.”

In his years as a civil rights organizer in the region, Bonner said he has noticed that many often feel like they can’t get involved in changing their communities due to a feeling of powerlessness, which is why he said it is important to combine the efforts of labor organizers, civil rights organizers and others concerned with different political focuses. 

“My work is a little different. I work with the black community — a community that has lost hope. My job is to get them involved in the process of change,” Bonner said. “That’s one of the issues with the black community, many don’t get involved because nothing is changing for them.

“We need to show people how things affect their lives and how they can get involved.”

Bonner welcomes different groups of different tendencies to come together at the rally. He emphasized the rally is not a protest. Rather, it is a time for community members to come together and talk about the social and political changes they want to see in their lives, whether that involves workers’ rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights or other areas of concern. 

Pre-registration for organizations that wish to set up a table and distribute information at the event is required.

For information on how to get involved in the rally, email Bonner at [email protected] or visit the event’s Facebook page

Email Brandon Paykamian at [email protected] Follow Brandon Paykamian on Twitter at @PaykamianJCP. Like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PaykamianJCP.

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