Peace march held in Homewood rallies around message of hope

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HOMEWOOD, Pa. - A march for peace rally held on Good Friday brought hundreds of people to Homewood who have been touched by violence in the community.

The House of Manna Faith Community (HOM) held its fourth annual “Prayer 4 Peace March” that began in front of the Westinghouse High School at 9 a.m.

Cassandra Paul, whose son was murdered six years ago, was one of the hundreds who turned out for the march.

"My son is in a cold case file sitting somewhere for six years now. That brings no peace to me,” said Paul. “"I lost my son to a community that I love, and I want [the community] back. We ready to take the community back. We are tired of guns. We are tired of violence."

According to a press release from HOM, the Rev. Freedom Blackwell, a pastor at HOM, said “Prayer 4 Peace March is an interfaith movement to change the spiritual climate of our community through the power of prayer while declaring God's victory over systematic slavery, spiritual blindness and mental oppression."

Michelle Snowden, whose son was murdered last February, also attended the march despite the pain of her loss.

"We still have to live everyday when birthdays come around; when holidays come around. They’re always there; always there in our hearts," said Snowden. "[This march] helps us all unite as one, and maybe, this march can make people realize there is more to offer to life."

The meaning behind the march was simple, according to Johnnie Hicks of HOM.  

"Today just means that there is hope for the Homewood community. Hope that there will be a spiritual as well as physical transformation of the community," said Hicks.