Grand Strand community activists, church leaders urge open conversations after protests end

Grand Strand community activists, church leaders urge open conversations after protests end

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - More peaceful protests along the Grand Strand are expected to take place in the coming days, and some activists and church leaders want to make sure the demonstrations bring about changes in the community.

Some church leaders say peaceful protests, like the one that happened in Myrtle Beach Sunday afternoon, play a big part in sparking change. But the bigger step to ensure actions are taken is after the march ends and the conversations with city leaders begin.

Rev. Joseph E. Washington is the pastor of Hope Church in Conway. He says there needs to be a plan of action and immediate follow-up after the demonstrations end, which includes helping to get people registered to vote and following up with local and state leaders to ensure the message of the protest was clearly heard.

“If we sit back and do this protest without any follow-up, shame on us," Washington said. “The second we leave the pavement, somebody needs to be in touch with the local police, the mayor’s office, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Community activist Shakedra Jenerette says following up with the police agencies after a peaceful protest is a step organizers need to take in their communities.

“Help to bridge the gap with the community and the police by reaching out to the police in their neighborhoods and brainstorm ways the police can become more personable with the people,” Jenerette said.

She says organizers across the area coming together collectively will help push the peaceful fight for justice even further.

“As organizers, we should be coming together too because ‘no one of us’ is stronger than all us of,” Jenerette said. “I think it’s awesome protests have been going on in other areas. I would love to see how powerful that would be if we all came together with solutions we could take back to our own neighborhood.”

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