When researching D. Alexander Bullock, the Detroit activist and educator, I was struck by the first line of his bio, “Every person must choose between shaping the world or submitting to it.” Bullock obviously falls into the former category.
Bullock, who in addition to all of his other accomplishments is also a pastor, activist, social critic and artist, credits his undergraduate alma mater for introducing him to the tradition of intellectual freedom fighting and the transformative role of the servant leadership.
Now the State of Michigan Coordinator for the Rainbow Push Coalition and president of the Highland Park Branch of the NAACP is mobilizing for another cause — the war on violence and poverty. On Aug. 25 Bullock will lead the Crusade for America parent and Youth March. The march will feature peace and justice workshops, music, art, direct action trainings and a job fair.
Rolling out spoke with Bullock about the historic occasion:
What was the impetus for this call to action?
The loss of human life is a tragedy. Many victims of violence fade away into oblivion because they are young, poor and minority. We must stand with the Trayvon Martin in all of our communities. We seek to intentionally change the culture of violence and create a urban peace movement. … We need to revive the ban on assault weapons, implement tighter penalties on straw purchase sellers and resurrect the war on poverty and unemployment in this country.
Why do you refer to it as a war on poverty, violence and unemployment?
There is a pattern of genocide in Detroit and America’s urban communities. Black men are unemployed, uneducated and unprotected …. This is a national crisis. We need a national response. We need an urban policy that takes guns out and brings jobs in. If we were at war overseas our first goal would be to stop the flow of guns into the community in order to ensure that it was safe. We are at war at home and must stop the flow of guns into our communities and we demand a plan from state and federal officials for urban reinvestment.
What are the details of the Crusade for America March?
This national march will start at McGregor Library in Highland Park and will focus on emergency reinvestment, economic recovery, the expansion of employment and educational opportunities [as well as] the protection of our voting rights, reviving the ban on assault weapons … and the racial divide in America.
For more information please visit http://crusadeforamerica.tumblr.com.