NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The shootings in Chattanooga and the one last month in Charleston sparked a coalition of local groups to plan a march and prayer vigil.
They first gathered at the Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Nashville to seek meaning in the midst of so much pain.
“We are here to stand against a culture of fear and fearful terrorism that is trying to divide us,” organizer and Fisk University student Justin Jones told the crowd.
They’re focusing on what brings them together, instead of what pulls them apart.
“I hope that when you see me or somebody on the news that looks like me you see those actions as the actions and mistakes of that individual, not a mirror to an entire group of people,” Muslim marcher Drost Kokoye said.
The group walked two miles from Greater Bethel, through the Gulch to the State Capitol and Legislative Plaza.
“Sometimes you have to pray with your feet,” Jones said. “Sometimes you have to have your faith meet the pavement.”
Heat indices topped 100 degrees, still that wasn’t a deterrent.
“Just knock on it seven times and let them know we're here,” Jones said about a door at the State Capitol. “Let them know we're here to give them moral witness when our political leaders use race to divide us.”
That included Confederate symbols, voter ID policies they say suppresses voting rights, and the expansion of Medicaid just to name a few. They called this the “March Against Fear.”
“This is important for people of God to say God wants more for God's people,” Rev. Dr. Morgan Gordy of Christ Lutheran Church added.
It's a sentiment that brought more than 100 people from all walks of life together to renew a sense of purpose in the midst of so much pain.