March and rally for unity planned

A group of residents concerned about inequality and injustice in Louisa County plans a march and rally in the town of Louisa on Saturday, July 25 at 10 a.m. to draw attention to these issues.

The event is also “to demonstrate unity and inclusion of all people,” said Juanita Jo Matkins, one of the organizers and a county resident, “and to increase solidarity and love among the community.”

Louisa United, as the group is called, will advocate to make the county “a better place for black, brown and all citizens to live and [to hold] accountable those persons in authority so that the steps we advocate for are put in place,” according to their purpose statement.

The march will begin at Louisa Town Park, located at 108 Meadow Avenue. Participants will proceed along McDonald Street to the county office building, then finish at the circuit courthouse on West Main Street. At several points, including at the park and county building, marchers will pause to hear speakers.

Raymar Byrd, a Louisa native and owner of a nonprofit organization that provides outreach to at-risk youth and families, will be among the speakers. Byrd is also an advocate for the county’s young African American male population.

Also scheduled to speak are Kimberly Fortune, who works for the state Department of Social Services and is associate minister at Galilee Baptist Church; Allen Jennings, a former Louisa County School Board member and business owner; Don Gathers, a Charlottesville activist; and Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. 

Matkins said people marching are expected to wear face masks and use social distancing for safety.

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