Coming together for peace
I lost my grandmother the Wednesday before this event and didn't want to be surrounded by the sad stories that I knew the Peace Rally would present. I decided to suck it up and do what I had no idea would become transformative for my purpose on earth. I felt my grandmother's peaceful spirit embrace us as I had the opportunity to speak to artists, speakers, acivists, and vendors about how we can make this world a safer and more peaceful place to live. It helped me realize that I want to be more then a media personality, but an activist.
The red carpet was amazing! I had the opportunity to converse with some amazing people - Freeway Ricky Ross, Haziq Ali, Diamond P, and Kimberly inspired my need to have a bigger voice in our struggle. At the same time, it was so good pulling out more then the album drops with the artists and celebrities. I was able to tap into a much more important spaceFinding out violence has affected their lives and what #AllLivesMatter was therapeutic for us all. Although I was on the red carpet for most of the evening, I was able to watch a few of the performances and speakers, there were particular moments on stage that really stood out to me. Atlanta legend, Malachi, set the ambiance when he opened up for the speakers by singing Boyz II Men's "Hard to Say Goodbye" in acapella. The first speaker, was the brother of Nick Thomas, Tristan aka TJ Makin Moves, whom shared the tragic death of his brother over a warrant for a $109 ticket. His story was gripping and his message of peace was humbling during such a painful experience. Kimberely Crawford brought me to tears as she spoke about the brutal murder of Dee (Keebo Gotti's brother - whom was shot 19 times with his daughter in his arms) and urged us to do better. Many artists graced the stage, and although their messages weren't always ones of peace, the CEO of Voltron Productions' vision was met. Everyone has a voice. Every one can benefit from coming together in solidarity. When I explained my chargrin to the fact that so many people were on stage rapping about things that didn't align with our goal, he asked me if he thought we'd be better off with a room full of people that were already involved in the struggle, as opposed to those that are finding their way to the struggle, despite how clumsily. That was a huge paridigm shift for me and one I feel many can benegit from. Preaching to the choir is one thing, but reaching the streets brings more people to the cause.