SAVANNAH, GA. – May 23, 2022 – The Savannah Alliance of Pastors, along with Asbury Memorial Church, Red Letter Christians, Moms Demand Action, and Full Circle Hospice Savannah, have partnered with activist and faith leader, Shane Claiborne to recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Month with a ‘Beating Guns’ event. This community-wide event, supporting gun violence prevention awareness, will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 4 at First African Baptist Church, 23 Montgomery Street (Franklin Square).
Savannah City Council, County Commissioner and District Attorney will be in attendance. The event will begin at the First African Baptist Church with a keynote address from Rev. Sharon Risher, whose family was killed in the 2015 Emanuel AME Church mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. Attendees will then move to Franklin Square where the event will continue with local survivor testimonies accounting the tribulations of gun violence, spoken word performances from the youth of the Deep Center’s Block by Block program, musical performances by Huxsie Scott, and dance performances by the Royal Ambassadors. Gun violence survivors will be invited to transform a gun into a functioning garden tool with the help of a blacksmith.
“The mission of this event is to address the proliferation of guns on our streets, to say that we can build better tools to live together harmoniously, to honor the victims, and to offer surviving family circles a therapeutic way to manifest their anger and grief over the loss of loved ones,” said Rev. Claire Marich, local ‘Beating Guns’ event coordinator and Asbury Memorial Church Associate Minister.
Attendees will be invited to interact with community partners during a meet-and-greet at the conclusion of the program. Grief counselors will be in attendance to assist those in need for the duration of this event. Those planning to attend the ‘Beating Guns’ event are encouraged to wear orange in support of National Gun Violence Awareness Month.
“We are looking forward to this opportunity to raise awareness about the prevalence of gun violence and the need for peace in our community,” stated Rev. Marich. “It’s an honor to work alongside these activists, faith leaders, and community partners to present this important witness of hope in the face of ongoing gun violence.”
Community members will have the opportunity to hear from Claiborne again on Sunday, June 6 during the 11:15 a.m. worship service at Asbury Memorial Church, 1008 E Henry Street.
Claiborne brought this impactful event to cities across the nation, but this will be the first time ‘Beating Guns’ has taken place in Savannah. The ’Beating Guns’ initiative, stemming from a book by the same title written by Claiborne and Michael Martin, allows victims and perpetrators of gun violence to tell their own compelling stories, offering hope for change and helping reimagine the world as one that turns from death to life, where swords become plows and guns are turned into garden tools.
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