With violence and the murder rate skyrocketing in Louisville, KY, three citizens formed an anti-violence group dubbed #LOUNITY, which focuses on community involvement to restore the peace in the streets.
#LOUNITY is an organization founded by husband and wife, Evan & Evette Clemons, and friend Marcus Mahan. The #LOUNITY movement represents unity amongst all Louisville communities.
The organization was established out of concern and frustration with the rapid rise in violence throughout the city of Louisville as of late.
“For a while we’ve always been the people that were talking and saying that it was time for a change but we never really did anything. We finally got tired and decided that we were about to do something, so we started with this Peace Walk that my man [Evan Clemons] came up with and that was the birth of #LOUNITY.” -Marcus Mahan
The organization intends to promote ‘Peace Walks’, throughout the city of Louisville, to raise awareness of the necessity for community involvement in ending the violent culture that exists in certain segments of society today.
The first Peace Walk took place on Sunday July 12, 2015. The 5.5 mile walk began at Phoenix Hill, in Louisville’s East End and ended at Shawnee Park in the city’s West End. A group of about 40 volunteers walked west on Broadway street holding signs and chanting, “What do we want?…Peace…When do we want it?…Now.”
“We plan to cover the entire city…We want to cover every neighborhood in the city with the walks so that way we are bringing White, Black, Chinese, everybody out to do it…When we walked from Phoenix Hill to Shawnee Park there were people joining us as we walked down the street, so that’s ultimately what we want to happen on the walks as well…Feel free to join us, you don’t have to start with us to join us along the way. We want people to get involved before they’re directly affected by the violence. -Evette Clemons
#LOUNITY also plans to establish mentoring programs and free events for the youth that will hopefully provide them with positive alternatives to crime and violence.
The July 12th Peace Walk was attended by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and plans are currently being made between #LOUNITY organizers and the mayor’s office to organize more events.
“These walks aren’t the end of it…We are going to do some door knocking…In October we are having an event at the Waterfront, so we are just putting things together to bring community back because if you don’t have that unity within your family unit then you can’t have any unity within your community.” – Evan Clemons
The second walk focused on canvassing the Newburg area. Volunteers walked for 3.8 miles from the corner of Indian Trail & Preston Hwy to Newburg Park. The walkers traveled down Ilex and Silverleaf streets, which at one period were ‘hot spots’ for violence in the area.
Neighbors noticed the walkers and many came out and stood on their porches as an expression of their solidarity. Newburg resident, Whitney Dunn said, “Violence prevention is something that is needed in certain parts of this neighborhood and other parts of the city as well.”
The #LOUNITY movement also inspired platinum rap recording artist, R. Prophet, (formerly of the Nappy Roots) to participate in the second Peace Walk.
“I just wanted to be part of a positive movement…It’s the #LOUNITY movement which is all about the people of Louisville standing united together, trying to fight for some change and perhaps try to save some lives out here. Also to show that there are people in the community that are positive that are trying to do some right things and pass a positive message…I just felt like a march is something that I definitely would like to be a part of because I love the community.” – R. Prophet
#Lounity organizers provided water stations along the walk in addition to towels soaked in cold water to combat the 95 degree heat. Once walkers arrived at Newburg park, the organizers showed their gratitude by hosting a complimentary ‘Cook Out’ with musical entertainment provided by Dj El Dawg.
“I got a call from Evan yesterday afternoon…I caught wind of what he was doing from the previous week about the #LOUNITY Peace Walks, so when he hit me up yesterday, it was nothing for me to come out and help him out…That’s my dude from way back…Especially when you’re doing something positive…It’s all about the love. I support my people especially when they’re on some positive things.” -Dj El Dawg
#LOUNITY organizers emphasize that all citizens of Louisville have the opportunity to participate in their events. Volunteers and donations are needed for the group to continue to provide these events for the public.
Half of the proceeds from all donations are directly attributed to financing future events. Additional funds are being put aside to finance a bus trip to the Million Man March on October 10, 2015, in Washington DC. #LOUNITY hopes to finance the trip for several local citizens that are experiencing financial difficulties.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
The group plans to continue its summer Peace Walks and invites the entire community out to support their cause.
“The Phoenix Hill walk was our inaugural one and it will also be the last one of the series for the year when we do it…Hopefully by then there will be more than 40 [people]…Maybe we can get a couple hundred out there so they can shut Broadway down and let us just walk.” -Evan Clemons
For future #LOUNITY events or t-shirt purchases follow the official #LOUNITY Facebook page or contact Evan Clemons, Evette Clemons, or Marcus Mahan on Facebook.
Dj El Dawg can be reached for booking on Instagram @djeldawg.
R. Prophet can be reached for booking on Instagram @iamrprophet or on Twitter @rprophet. Additionally R. Prophet said:
“I just shot an episode on MTV which is airing this Wednesday July 22nd at 10:00 pm. It’s a show called Catfish…It’s pretty much a reality show but it’s a lot of fun.” (link listed below)