Those who live in Pittsford never thought they’d have to do something like this. A march, for equality, in 2016.
Pittsford resident Kevin Beckford said, “I think what’s happening today, it may seem like we’re almost going backwards because we’re hearing and seeing things we have not seen in a long time.”
Controversy ignited when fliers promoting a website advocating for white supremacy in the Rochester area were passed around Pittsford neighborhoods in recent weeks.
Local business owners Andrew and Kendra Evans, who have three children of mixed race, decided to take action. They formed a community group branding themselves as ‘Pitts-forward’ and helped lead Sunday’s march.
“My goal here was to show who we are to show that Pittsford is a town that welcomes everyone, that if someone is being bullied or intimidated we’re not going to stand for that,” said Kendra Evans.
What started as a small group of upset neighbors last week, turned into hundreds of marchers coming together to speak out against racism and inequality. The fact that so many people showed up, reflects the dedication to the group’s message as neighbors, community leaders, and even local colleges took part.
Nazareth College’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Mohammed Ahamed, said, “this really and truly hit home for us, and we had some students that had some concerns on campus, so we began to get information from the community, we just decided to join [Pitts-forward] in solidarity.”
Beckford marched with his wife and daughter on Sunday, and said promoting diversity is as easy as getting to know your neighbors.
“It’s very easy, just get to know somebody different than you, and you’ll find out that we’re not that different. Nobody’s that different, at the end of the day we just want what’s best for our families,” said Beckford.
Organizers said they accomplished their goal with the turnout they had for the march, but there’s more work to be done. Pitts-forward is meeting again Tuesday night to continue their mission.