Students led prayer of unity for city

Students led prayer of unity for city
Posted on 01/26/2022

Student leaders from Edna Karr and Eleanor McMain brought community leaders together to unify the city against youth crime and violence in the city.

In light of more than 20 homicides and 43 carjackings so far this year, the students, joined with members of the community, offered a prayer for unity before the Karr-McMain basketball game on Tuesday, January 25 at Eleanor McMain Secondary School.

“I know a lot of people who have went to funerals back-to-back. You lost your brother on Tuesday, you just found out you lost your cousin last Thursday,” said Edna Karr senior Mya Butler.

The students wanted a call to action, and city leaders responded.

Joining the students were City Council Members Lesli Harris and Freddie King, District Attorney Jason Williams, NOPD Chief Sean Ferguson and members of the New Orleans Police Department, Orleans Parish School Board President Olin Parker and OPSB Vice President J.C. Romero.

“This is real leadership,” said King. “It took the youth of our city to bring our leaders together. You are the future leaders and the true leaders of this city.”

community leadersOrleans Parish School Board President Olin Parker echoed the sentiment.

“You got the school board, city council, the district attorney, chief of police, everybody out here following your lead,” he told students. “This leadership doesn’t end here tonight. Take it out of here and into your classroom, take it home, take it out into the community.”

District Attorney Jason Williams thanked the students and their parents for making this possible.

“There is nothing more important than our children and our families in any city. Nothing else in this community could bring everybody together tonight,” he said. “I want to thank you for being the centering force behind the mission of this city.”

Orleans Parish School Board Vice President J.C. Romero thanked the students for stepping up and taking action.
“You are the future. You are who we are learning from, and I am so excited to partner with all of you to effect change in this city because we deserve it.”

New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson said as a city, we need to watch out for each other.

“There is no I in team but there is an I in unity and that is why we are here tonight,” he said. “Everyone in this building tonight knows that we have a responsibility to take care of one another.” 

The goal of the event was to foster unity among the youth of our city, so that they may come together to be agents of change.

“Prayer is a powerful tool. but we can’t forget the action that must flow from it,” Butler said.

“We’re hoping this event keeps going, the idea of this event keeps going, between all ages, between all ethnicities,” Edna Karr senior and SGA President Tayelor Kees added.

Eleanor McMain senior Robert Johnson said it’s not just about crime. It’s about uniting as youth of this city.

 “Youth are the future, we are the future, and we want to see each other succeed,” he said.