Will Charleston Unity Demonstrations Make a Difference?

25 Jun 2015
Will Charleston Unity Demonstrations Make a Difference? 1

More than twenty thousand people from around the country gathered on Charleston’s Arthur Ravenel Bridge as a sign of unity and support for the Charleston shooting victims and their families. Hundreds of thousands more took to social media to express their grief, outrage and solidarity. But will these demonstrations make a difference going forward or do they just serve to make us feel better in the moment?

Author and media strategist Shawna Vercher says that people standing together after a crisis is not only emotionally supportive for the victims’ families, but is clear signal to other hateful individuals that these acts of terror will not divide Americans or instill fear. “This is a pivotal moment in this conversation…The conversation of race has always been framed in such a narrow view. Frankly, this short-circuited the wiring of some people that have been so comfortable in their stereotypes.”

For me, this is a defining moment where we as Americans can choose not only to be strong during a crisis but to stay involved, to go beyond just resuming our normal lives. If there is anything that can come out of this horrible tragedy, it’s to say, this stops here. We will not look away and we will find out what we can do as people to change the way things are — and to pressure those in power to do the same.

Watch this episode of Dare We Say and join Shawna and I in the conversation. Leave your thoughts on how we can make a positive impact after such an unspeakable tragedy.


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