More than 100 Quad Citians packed inside the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Rock Island on Monday, January 20th, 2014. Those off all colors gathered together to celebrate the peace and love of MLK.
The event’s motto: “The unarmed truth and unconditional love”. MLK coined that phrase during his acceptance speech of the Noble Peace Prize in 1964.
Often, those words seem difficult to grasp in a world haunted with violence.
“We all were born for a reason, and it’s not to harm one another,” said Ameena Matthews, the honored speaker at the event.
Ameena has dedicated her life to stopping violence. She was a subject of an award winning documentary titled “The Interrupters”, a film that features her as a community activist.
She showed her passion of stopping violence with those in attendance for the MLK tribute.
“I believe each one of us has a purpose,” Matthews exclaimed.
She interacts with her audience. Stopping for hugs, and to tell each individual how special they are. Matthews told News 8 stopping the violence is crucial to keeping our nation’s kids safe.
In recent years, Rock Island has seen a decline in violent crime, said Rock Island County Sheriff Jeff Boyd.
“Community involvement, everyone being accepting of responsibility, and being involved with good relationships with police has all contributed to lower violent crimes,” said Boyd.
And leaders like Ameena Matthews say she will continue to fight the war on violence, until it drops worldwide.
“The unarmed truth, that’s what we have to deal with.”