Love Beats Hate: The place to be for peace, harmony and support for justice. With everything that is going on in the world involving crime and violence, there needs to be a place and time where all people can come together in fellowship for one cause. Love Beats Hate (LBH) is the answer. Love Beats Hate , a Rally to Remember event will be held on Friday, November 11, 2016 at 40th and Bull Street in the Starland Neighborhood. This rally is a gathering of concerned local citizens, dignitaries, companies, and organizations who want to remember individuals who lost their lives in acts of terror. Lady Mahogany and Magic Marc Dunston will host the event, which features a candlelight vigil march after the remembrance of victims.
Tammy Thomas Kellaran is a volunteer for the LBH group. She explained what Love Beats Hate is all about: “we are not an organization, we are just a group of people who wanted to create an event to inspire unity in our communities. We come from all walks of life, and the constant violence threatens all of our cities and our nation. We believe that love is the best way to beat hate. So this event is a way for us to come together and to just show love.”
The group was started by a local named Mark Krueger. Mark gathered friends and pitched the idea for this event and several people volunteered their time and resources to help make it happen. Most of the people involved have known each other for many years. Tammy shared how she discovered the group: “I am fairly new to Savannah and was introduced to LBH by my Pastor and his wife.”
The founder of Love Beats Hate, Mark Krueger, was inspired to start this rally after he was on vacation in Orlando after the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Mark said: “I saw what they did in Orlando and it was inspiring….the entire city came together.” He continues: “It wasn’t a gay issue. There were convenient store clerks, cab drivers, politicians and priests, all united in shock and horror. They were united in their initial shock and horror, but then in grief…..which quickly added power to their coming together. The next day after the shooting, there were 10,000 people who gathered. They participated in fundraisers, blood drives, and a rally. Participants of black, white, latino, gay, straight, Muslims and atheists, all united for a cause. The following weekend there was a second rally, and there were 50,000 people.”
The very thing that impacted Mark was seeing the pictures of 49 individuals who lost their lives in the shooting. They were almost all young and even some were teenagers. “I’m an old man,” said Mark, “when I thought about the 49 young people who were killed, and the 50 who were in hospitals who barely lived their lives, it was a horrible tragedy for me to see.” Krueger said on the train back to Savannah and after his vacation, that he felt that we couldn’t forget them.
Krueger believes that one person has the power to change the world, and one person has the power to change Savannah. Krueger also said: “If we become united, we have the power to say that violence is not acceptable in this city, and that everyone is welcome here.”
If you would like to volunteer or participate as a street performer for the event, you may contact Mark at 912- 503-4755. Also feel free to check out Love Beats Hate in Savannah, an event which celebrates Savannah’s diverse communities. There will be local music, local performers and food trucks.