Young students from the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) marched the streets of Harlem calling for peace in the neighborhood as part of the 21st Annual HCZ Peace March on Wednesday.
“The Peace March is a reminder to our children and community that all of us – individually and collectively – can reduce the level of violence,” said Anne Williams-Isom, the CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone. “Our children and families get the opportunity to voice that violence in the neighborhood is unacceptable. The performances after the march show what children can create when given a positive outlet.”
The march began 21 years ago after an elementary-school girl was shot in her apartment by a stray bullet from the street. At the time, HCZ staff decided to demonstrate that the good people in the neighborhood would not passively accept neighborhood violence.
The march began at West 129th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard and ended at the 143rd Street Harlem Armory (between Lenox and Fifth avenues). At the Armory, the marchers watch performances put on by students. The event ended with a candlelit moment of silence to remember loved ones who have been lost to violence.
Photos by Bill Moore