PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After seeing the nightly destruction, a group of Portlanders is pushing for peace — and they’re starting with a 24-hour march.
Edreece Phillips said he wants to follow in his family’s footsteps by being a positive community leader. Phillips and his friends started a group called A.F.T.E.R., which stands for Aim For Total Equality Revolution. On Wednesday afternoon, the group is marching from Portland all the way to Salem.
“We’re doing this for equality,” he said. “I want everyone to be equal.”
Philips hopes his peaceful walk for the Black Lives Matter movement will be infectious and inspire more people to walk together.
“There’s a lot of violence going on throughout the country,” Phillips said. “We are trying to show people there is another way to respond to trauma and what’s happening in different states. There is a positive way to get your voice heard.”
Phillips says peaceful words must be followed by peaceful actions.
In Salem, he hopes to talk to lawmakers about reinvesting in education, supporting black-owned businesses along with helping the homeless, drug-addicted and poverty-stricken communities.
To follow along their journey, visit A.F.T.E.R.’s Facebook page.