Before the Peace March, there were opening remarks in King Square. Councillor John MacKenzie brought welcoming remarks on behalf of the City of Saint John to a crowd of over 150 people. Executive Director of PRUDE Inc., Jocelyn Stevens, shared personal stories of growing in a bi-racial family and how times have changed since she was young. Board President of PRUDE Inc., Ralph Thomas spoke to the youth thanking them for the positive work they are doing in bringing awareness to acceptance and inclusiveness in the City of Saint John. Ryan Brown, a student from Harbour View High School, read a message from the Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable Graydon Nicholas, stating “I urge you to mark this day with a commitment to fairness, human rights and diversity”. Dignitaries and community members alike made the “Stop Racism” pledge together adapted from the United Nations pledge to end racism. The crowd stood for 2 minutes of silence to recognize those who have been victims of discrimination.
The Peace March proceeded down King Street with the sights of flags flowing in the air representing over 10 different countries. The crowd took the opportunity to take class/school pictures showcasing posters created by students while singing “This Land Is Your Land”.
On behalf of the Board and Staff of PRUDE Inc. I would like to thank everyone who participated and volunteered their time and talent to making this day a great success, especially: Ryan & Colin Brown, Cameron Seaward, Staff/students of Anglophone South School District, Saint John City Police Department, Saint John Learning Exchange, Population Growth Division, and all of our Community Partners.