LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington’s annual Peace Walk on Sunday was held in the honor of its creator, Anita Franklin.
She died of a heart attack in February, but her mission to end gun violence hasn’t lost momentum.
A crowd of about 200 people came out to Duncan Park to celebrate Franklin’s pivotal role in the community.
“We gotta keep telling the message over and over that we need to eliminate this gun violence, says community organizer Christian Adair. “We need to show love and compassion for each other and some empathy, but that starts with us, starts with our community.”
They walked one mile to spread that message.
There were several community groups there to provide resources, including Moms Demand Action.
Members of the group read the names of their loved ones who were killed.
Franklin’s son, Ricardo Franklin, read his brother’s name, Antonio Franklin, the catalyst for Anita Franklin’s work. Antonio was shot in 2014.
Lexington artist and community figure Devine Carama says Franklin inspired his own activism.
“I’m standing on her shoulders, says Carama.” The work she did in the community – I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if it wasn’t for her.”
Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt reflected on Franklin’s work with the sheriff’s office, and challenged everyone to follow Franklin’s lead in stopping gun violence.
Ricardo says he hopes that young people know there are resources, and people who care.
“I know how it feels when you feel like you have nothing, and you feel like you can’t go anywhere,” says Ricardo. “Just keep going. There’s always some green on the other side, you just gotta keep going til you see the light.”
That’s a light still burning in Lexington.