Posted by: joshjasper | March 29, 2011

March Against Violence

Last night I marched against violence in downtown Dubuque and was quickly reminded what our work is all about. I received a call from Larry Jackson a month or so ago asking if I would be interested in supporting his vision. Larry is a counselor, preacher, mentor, and evangelist for the downtown community. During our first planning meeting for the march he shared with me his concerns about the violence in our community and how his downtown neighborhood needs to unite to speak out against some of the misconceptions that many have of his friends, family members, and neighbors. He had me at hello.

We walked down Jackson Street last night with signs and flowers in hand. Upon reaching Comiskey Park, Larry asked us all to put the signs on the ground and to take a carnation and place it on the signs. Each flower represented someone we knew that had been in a violent relationship. We ran out of flowers.

Larry’s words were inspiring. He talked of a war that rages in our community that no one seems to give much attention to. He wanted to know where our mothers are fathers were in our community. Too many children are being raised by individuals that are not the role models they should be. He wondered aloud why so many fear his neighborhood when he himself and so many others that live in the community do not have the same fears. He spoke of racism. “We need to take care of one another,” he proclaimed. “We must go out and spread the word, not assuming that people will come to us.” Speaking from his heart, Larry knew that we can no longer assume that other people will do the right thing. “The change must begin with us!”

Truer words were never spoken.



  1. I just read some of your online articles-thank-you for caring for all the individuals who go through this nightmare, if more of us could step up to the plate and help this world would be a much better place. My daughter thinks very highly of the work done at Riverside and I’m very proud of her for wanting to get involved and help if she can. You should all sleep well at night knowing you are trying to make a difference hang in there Community is very hard to get involved sometimes especially certain organizations and sometimes you feel like you’re doing it alone and it’s hard, hang in there and the best of luck always!!! Thank-you all!!

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