Having gathered 1,500 signatures on petitions from surrounding community support, the Rayshard Brooks Peace Center (RBPC) Activists and Community Movement Builders are announcing a collective demand that Atlanta elected officials, including the District’s City Councilmember Joyce Shepherd, stand down and stop blocking negotiations with the Wendy’s Corporation.
RBPC activists had initiated communications with the Wendy’s Corporation to turn the Wendy’s site at 125 University Ave. SW into a Peace Center for community advancement.
Lady A, lead organizer of the Sleep-In Activists for the Rayshard Brooks Peace Center, explains:
“We envision a space for peace. A space where we can recognize and remember the lives of those who have been murdered by the police – not just Rayshard’s life, and not just in Atlanta, but all across the country. This Peace Center will not only represent what we can build together within our community, but it will also serve as a central location to provide the resources that the community needs.”
Jamal Taylor from Community Movement Builders shares:
“We have been holding weekly events since the death of Mr. Brooks. These events include ‘Know Your Rights’ workshops, candlelight vigils in remembrance of Rayshard Brooks and other victims of violence, as well as back-to-school giveaways.
“These are the same type of community-centered events that would take place after the Rayshard Brooks Peace Center is built. Creating yet another fast-food restaurant will do nothing to benefit the larger community. We need a community-controlled space so that we can create programs and institutions that truly serve our community’s needs.”
Georgia U.S. Senate Candidate Al Bartell, keynote speaker for the news conference, informs:
“The Bartell for U.S. Senate campaign has chosen to have our first ‘March To The Sea’ event be embodied by our participation at the Rayshard Brooks Peace Center news conference, organized by the Rayshard Brooks Sleep-In Activists and Community Movement Builders.
“My commitment in speaking at tomorrow’s news conference as a United States Senate Candidate is grounded in re-presencing the rights of black Americans — as engraved in perpetuity through the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Those rights included not only the legal protection from being enslaved — but also included the legal protection from life-threatening violence.”
The RBPC activists are publicly announcing a collective demand that a sit down with the Wendy’s Corporation and Atlanta City officials be set to negotiate what happens next to the site of Rayshard Brooks’ murder, now viewed as a sacred space by many. Organizers have been raising resources and creating a reliable infrastructure to ensure that all activities on the future Peace Center site will be open, transparent, and beneficial to the larger surrounding neighborhoods and communities.