North Texas Daily

Bystanders outside Meyerson promote love and unity while awaiting presidential visit

Bystanders outside Meyerson promote love and unity while awaiting presidential visit

Bystanders outside Meyerson promote love and unity while awaiting presidential visit
July 13
23:22 2016

Julia Falcon | Staff Writer

@falconjulia22

A crowd comprised of people from across the country waited outside the Meyerson Symphony Center for the arrival of President Barack Obama on Tuesday, July 12.

One of the people holding a sign was Waxahachie resident Joseph Scott, which stated “we’re better UNITED! Look past our differences. Learn to LOVE NOT HATE,” with the word “hate” crossed out.

“I plan on standing here as long as it takes for people to understand. I want to spread the word to everybody,” Scott said. “We need to stop looking at each other with hate [and] need to start learning with everyone. Honestly, there’s nothing we can do to prevent [crime]. The least we can do is show the love to each other.”

Steven Shirley, a Dallas resident, showed up to support his friends going into the interfaith memorial service and said he was on his way downtown when the shootings happened and considered being caught in traffic a blessing.

“I am very involved with the community. Friends of mine will be speaking and will be on stage,” Shirley said. “I work around here in the community, and I’m here to support the police department, the City of Dallas and churches and businesses.”

There were many people promoting unity and togetherness outside the Meyerson, including Ken Nwadike, who traveled to Dallas from San Diego overnight.

Nwadike is a part of a project called Free Hugs, where he travels to places where tragedies have happened and offers his support and of course, free hugs.

“I plan on standing here till I hug enough people and enough people understand,” Nwadike said. “People may not want to give hugs, but it is very important to spread the love.”

The initiative, Nwadike said, began after another recent American tragedy.

“I started [Free Hugs] after the Boston marathon bombing,” Nwadike said. “I was sitting at home thinking I needed to do something about it, so I started a Facebook page and made videos that went viral.”

Shirley said he hopes the President’s visit to Dallas creates a positive reaction within the community.

“I think the president’s visit will show warm compassion to the city, the nation and Dallas as well as officers and their families,” Shirley said. “It’s time to begin the process of healing and putting arms around each other.”

For Nwadike, he hopes that certain policies change in the future.

“I book a flight and go there – to me that’s my super hero uniform,” Nwadike said. “I’m hoping that eventually there will be policies that make tragedies like this not take place. We can post about it on social media, but change won’t happen until people change their hearts and policies come into place that make people like this do these things.”

Featured Image: Bystanders wait for President Barack to speak on Tuesday, July 12 outside of the Meyerson Symphony Center. Scott Sidway | News Editor

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