Published : Friday, October 25, 2019 | 5:27 AM
[Updated] Michelle White and her new nonprofit organization, Neighborhood Survants is moving from backpacks to motorcycles as the group is teaming with United for Peace to hold a Peace Ride and Rally on Oct. 27.
White, who last August arranged a backpack giveaway for area kids, is now taking her concerns to the streets in a rally to honor those who died by violence. It’s a team effort with the motorcycle-based group United In Peace and Pasadena’s Day One.
White is a Pasadena Park Safety Specialist, a non-sworn officer, which means she carried no gun. She is the first non-sworn officer to be named Officer of the Year by the Pasadena Police Foundation. She said her work has enabled her to be directly involved with the community in important ways, including projects like this.
“I don’t carry a gun so it’s easier to have a conversation with people,” she said. “I use the trust I’ve built for 18 years to build bridges.”
White, United In Peace and Day One have teamed up to put on the rally to commemorate those lost to violence.
“United In Peace has been doing the peace rides for about eight years and the theory behind it is that, as they do these rides, it brings awareness to what we can do,” White said. “These rides are in areas that are highly impacted by crime.”
Over the last seven years, United In Peace said it has produced over 70 Peace Rides, and that in the process it has worked with 206 allied gangs and clubs, in 33 different neighborhoods. They said their campaign has helped to settle 243 gang disputes.
The ride will start at the Rose Bowl and finish at City Hall, taking a route that goes through many neighborhoods in Pasadena.
Senator Anthony Portantino will also be speaking at the event. Portantino said of the event, “It is always a good idea to bring people together for a peaceful purpose and for a productive, positive conversation. This is an excellent opportunity to further communication between the Pasadena PD and the greater activist community. I was pleased to have been asked to attend and I am happy to support this effort. There is just far too much angry rhetoric in our country and this event sends the right positive message.”
There will also be a Peace Walk involving young people that will start at Day One at 10:30 a.m.
“Day One is supporting this Sunday’s Peace Ride by leading the Youth Peace Walk from Day One to City Council,” said Christy Zamani, executive director of Day One.
“We share a common vision with Neighborhood Survants in wanting to create a positive, peaceful, united community that allows our neighbors to feel safe, secure, and connected. It’s our responsibility as a city to let all the members of our community know that they belong. ”
White said she is hoping that everyone comes out to join the groups as the Peace Ride and Rally is an event put on by members of the community.
“This is a faith-based event so I have all the churches invited,” White said.
White said losing a loved one to homicide — or in any other way — is a sensitive subject. But she wants people affected by tragedy and violence to know that there are people who care.
“It’s a real sensitive subject and some people may not be ready to open a can of worms,” she said. “And then there are some people sitting dormant in their house wanting to know there’s somebody out there that cares.”
White said that in addition to the rally being faith-based and community-based, there will be young people involved. Young artists and activists will be on hand and the last 30 minutes of the event is expected to be dedicated to domestic violence awareness, mental health awareness and anti-bullying.
“The motorcycle ride will start at the Rose Bowl at 1:15 and we will ride the community,” White said. “We’re inviting everybody that has ever lost someone in our city so we can recognize them and let them know that they haven’t been forgotten.”
For more information go to: https://www.neighborhoodsurvants.com/peace-ride