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A Walk For Kayla – Hundreds of Young People Peacefully March Through Mt Vernon To Remember Kayla Green

"We the youth of Mount Vernon need to be the change for what's right, its starts with us, not the adults that always say they want to help us change and never do..."

I believe that children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride
To make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
– The Greatest Love Of All – George Benson

The youth of Mount Vernon and the community came together, Monday afternoon to remember Kayla Green. Kayla was killed on Friday at the citywide celebration for the Mount Vernon boys’ basketball team winning their 12th state championship. The first of two events was A Walk For Kayla – a march for peace and to mourn the loss of Kayla Green and denounce all violence in the city of Mount Vernon – they emphasized the phrase “Make the resolution. Violence is not the solution.”

“We the youth of Mount Vernon need to be the change for what’s right, its starts with us, not the adults that always say they want to help us change and never do,” Christian Burgos, teen members of the Boys And Girls Club of Mount Vernon youth said before the peaceful march. “It starts with us. We are the change and want to change the violence in Mount Vernon going on with our youth.”

The walk began at 4:30 p.m. starting at the Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club on South 6th Avenue to the site on Prospect Avenue where she tragically lost her life. Then to the building she lived in on Fourth Street and Third Avenue and back to the Boys and Girls Club.

“”Teens are learning to be adults. They must learn to negotiate relationships with their words instead of resorting to violence. Parents, teachers, and all the adults in the kids’ lives have a responsibility to listen and help them develop these skills. In wealthy communities, I see kids focus relentlessly on building their resumes and don’t reflect adequately on the values they must cultivate. The opposite is true in places like Mount Vernon; hopelessness is pervasive, and kids lack self-confidence. In their effort to garner ‘respect,’ teens, in particular, focus on what they want to have on their tombstones instead of building a future. The March for Peace resulted from BGCMV’s efforts to empower kids to use their words and build their self-respect through positive actions,” Sandy Narain, the Teen Coordinator of the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon shared with Black Westchester.

Mother, mother, There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother, There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way, To bring some lovin’ here today – yeah
Father, father, We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer, For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way, To bring some lovin’ here today, oh (Oh)
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye

Senseless violence is plaquing the inner cities of America, as well as here in Mount Vernon and as Marvin sang 50-plus years ago, Mother, mother, there’s too many of you crying, because there is far too many of our younger brothers and sisters dying. The youth came out Monday in numbers and demanded change, demanded an end to the senseless violence. They are the ones who are seeing their peers dying and living with the traumatic experiences, one after the other, day after day. They are not seeing their leaders in the communities, the adults doing anything to make it better, so they rallied to tell each other they have to be the change they want to see.

Hundreds of young people came out to be heard, Black Westchester has gotten plenty of calls over the last months or so about students and their parents who reported cases of bullying and beefs brewing but the school administration has failed to address these issues. This was a preventable situation, but what was not handled in school, violently spilled out into the streets, Friday afternoon.

While I applaud the youth for standing up and stepping up and calling for an end to the senseless violence, I’m asking where are the adults? I’ve seen a lot of speculation and misinformation posted on Facebook but what are you doing to help the situation. While the youth are left to feel they have to fend for themselves, they cannot fix this problem alone, they cannot do it by themselves.

Before anyone is quick to write off the youth, claiming they are out of control, let me ask all of the adults what are you doing? Some of these kids just need a hug, need to be heard, shown, some love, mentoring, someone to pay attention to them to show them they are not alone, that their lives matter. All of you who consider yourself or are considered by others as leaders, it’s time to stand up and lead. Lead by your actions. The youth are watching and many of you do not show the best examples of conflict resolution but expect the youth to behave better, which is the very definition of hypocrisy.

Later at 7 p.m., people were asked to wear pink or white as they release pink and white balloons in front Mount Vernon City Hall to remember Kayla.

The youth started the conversation and set the tone for the adults to step up. We cannot look at this like it’s not our problem because we have no children, or we raised our children. On Friday, April 8th a bright light was extinguished, and life has changed forever for three families, directly and many others indirectly. This one hits the core for the whole community, let us not missed this watershed moment and come together, putting our difference aside and save and take back our city. And I am personally calling on the Black Pastors out there because the city is in desperate need of spiritual healing!

There’s a war going on outside nobody’s safe from. And remember as the mercury climbs so does the violence. The youth are calling us all to action, are you going to answer the call or just continue to complain on social media, burying your head in the sand and continue to kick the can down the road? The choice is yours! The time is now!

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About AJ Woodson (2375 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.

2 Comments on A Walk For Kayla – Hundreds of Young People Peacefully March Through Mt Vernon To Remember Kayla Green

  1. Patricia Gordon // April 20, 2022 at 4:13 AM //

    My niece was taking away from me for no reason. She was a good child with manners and respect, she leaves as a walking dead with no life only my body

  2. Patricia Gordon // April 20, 2022 at 4:09 AM //

    Why my niece Kayla? Why? She didn’t deserve that brutal death, I miss her my life will never be the same anymore without my beautiful niece Kayla, I love you my niece kayla

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