Hundreds of protesters march in Berrien Springs peace-walk

Published: Jun. 7, 2020 at 8:47 PM EDT
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Hundreds of people marched at peace-walk in Berrien Springs Sunday.

The marchers started at Andrews University and ended at Berrien Springs High School.

The walk comes after the unrest caused by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota nearly two weeks since he was killed at the hands of police.

Jordan Howell-Walton, one of the organizers of the peace-walk, says the march was organized by some students and staff from Berrien Springs High School.

"Some students from Berrien Springs High School reached out and said I want to protest too. I have feelings about this too, but they weren’t 110% sure where to start. So, more so we’ve been here to support the students and to let them know that they have a voice and they have value and that this is equally their conversation," Howell-Walton says.

Meylin Allen, an educator who also helped organize the peace-walk, says she is making sure her students at Berrien Springs High School feel that their voices are being heard.

“When I started working here in Berrien Springs High School, the students were afraid to talk about race. I said, 'It’s Black History Month. What are we going to do?' They’re like, 'Ms. Allen, we can’t talk about race here. The white people are going to get mad.' I said, 'What?' So it’s been a journey giving them their voice and now that they’re able to stand here and they’re able to express their feelings and all of the hurt, it is truly a healing process," Allen says.

People of all backgrounds and ages could be found participating in the walk.

This included multiple police officers, like Berrien Springs Police Chief Paul Toliver, who walked to show their support as well.

“This is what they’re asking for. As police chief, I said absolutely. This is why we exist. We are here for this very reason. I was humble that they asked me to participate. You have to be willing to listen and both sides need to be willing to listen. And this community, one of our strengths is we always listen to each other," Toliver says.

After the walk concluded...marchers took a knee in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd.