Many Maconites say they are giving a voice to the voiceless by joining in on the march on Macon. They say it is all in an effort to stand against discrimination in our community.
"So are you guys ready? Let’s go!,” said Bentley Hudgins, one of the event organizers.
The March on Macon to end discrimination began in Coleman Hill and ended at Rosa Parks Square. Leaders of the march say it is an effort to bring the community together no matter their beliefs. They say right now Georgia does not have comprehensive anti-discrimination laws.
Kelly Sullivan Joyner is a minister and a wedding officiant in Macon. She says compared to other cities in Georgia, Macon is more accepting, but she says there is always improvements to be made.
"But these are issues we have to address and you can't just, this can't be the 50's. We can't go back. You have to bring it out to the forefront and people have to know what's going on. Once you get to know your neighbors you have a little bit more of an open mind,” said Joyner.
It is that same spirit of being open-minded that brought out supporters by the dozens to the march Saturday night.
"This is what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like,” chanted the crowd.
Aaron Scherf is a Mercer law student. He says fighting against discrimination is not only a community benefit, it is an economic benefit as well.
"These kinds of cultural shifts are what the city needs to really drive that next level of development. So I think not only is this a social issue. This is an economic issue for our city. If we want to be getting into industries like film and technology we need to have a culture that supports that kind of young, progressive network,” said Scherf.
Those that came out to march against discrimination in Macon did make a difference. They encouraged Macon’s Mayor to sign a proclamation recognizing the day.
"Now therefore, I Robert Reichert, do hereby proclaim March 11, 2017, as Macon Unity Day,” read commissioner Larry Schlesinger.
A day that many Maconites say will push the city in the right direction. March 11 is now officially Macon Unity Day. Leaders of the march say they will do this event every year.
If you would like to support the cause, you can sign the pledge to end discrimination in Georgia by texting the word "equality" to 864237.