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March to focus on racism in Twin Ports

People attending a Justice City Coalition rally outside Duluth City Hall listen to a speaker in July 2016. About 150 people attended the rally. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com

A march being organized for Saturday in Duluth aims to bring attention to racism in the Twin Ports.

The March to Dismantle the Legacy of Racism and Build a Community of Peace is scheduled to take place in downtown Duluth on Saturday morning, coinciding with other marches occurring around the country that day as part of the Nationwide Solidarity March for Peace.

Courtney Cochran, a spokeswoman for the effort to organize the march in Duluth, said the national movement came out of the events in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacy rally was held in August.

"One of our biggest goals, especially in a community that is predominately white, I think lots of white folks like myself think, 'What can I really do as a white person about racial equity? What's my role in this fight?' So one of the biggest goals of Saturday is to give people action steps and start bonding and changing these systems for the better in our community," Cochran said.

Cochran said organizers are hoping several hundred people attend the march. People will begin to gather at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, at the corner of Second Avenue East and First Street. Several of the march's organizers will speak at the memorial before the march begins at 10 a.m.

Marchers will proceed from the memorial to Superior Street and then will walk on Superior Street en route to Duluth City Hall, 411 W. First St. A rally is slated to take place following the march with poetry, music and speakers discussing racial equity in the Twin Ports. Information about community engagement will be available at the march and gathering.

The Justice City Coalition, a network of people fighting for racial equity in the Twin Ports, is organizing Saturday's march in Duluth. The coalition has come together in the Twin Ports periodically over the past couple of years, often in response to incidents of police brutality occurring around the country, to raise awareness and promote action.

But after Charlottesville, it was clear the various groups in the coalition needed to have a more permanent presence, Cochran said.

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