Hundreds gather in downtown Anchorage for ’March on Alaska’ event

Overflow of support shown for Alaska Black Caucus “Black Lives Matter” gathering
Hundreds gather at Towne Square in downtown Anchorage for March on Alaska event
Hundreds gather at Towne Square in downtown Anchorage for March on Alaska event(Scott Gross)
Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 5:12 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Hundreds of people used the Labor Day Holiday to show up in support of the “March on Alaska” event hosted by the Alaska Black Caucus and many other partners at Town Square in downtown Anchorage.

“We need equality for everyone,” Alaska Black Caucus President and CEO Celeste Hodge Growden said.

The march was originally planned for Aug. 28, to coincide with the 1963 March on Washington, but was moved due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“So today, we take a step forward on America’s, rocky but righteous journey towards justice,” Growden said.

The downtown event lasted over an hour and a half and featured over a dozen guest speakers, including eight-year-old Zelda Zaletel.

“I don’t want to be judged by the color of my skin and I don’t think anyone else does either,” Zaletel said.

The crowd stood in solidarity with a few hecklers. Hodge Growden asked for a peaceful protest and that is what the event turned out to be. People showed up with signs, red ribbons and engaged in chants. Pastor Undra Parker from Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church challenged the crowd to do more than just show up to events like today.

“So what do we do when we leave here?” Parker said. “Do we hear a speech from five, six different people, do we take pictures and remember that we gathered on this day? Do we just hold up a sign and declare ’I’m with you’ or do we do something with what we said?”

Parker doubled down on his challenge and urged people to start today.

“Find somebody that is of another ethnicity, another race, another background, another state, another country,” Parker said, “and be intentional about building a relationship with them so that we can start today to build a beloved community.”

The event ended with a march from Town Square to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the Delany Park Strip.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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