By Tre Ward
GAMBRILLS, Maryland (WBAL) — Rallying against hate with love – that’s the message one group in Anne Arundel County is sending after what they describe as a racist encounter among children.
It happened at a park in Gambrills, and now parents and their kids are taking a stand.
Each stroke of chalk represents inclusion, coloring over the painful experience for one mother’s young children.
Kia Rorie says last week Monday at Bell Branch Park in Gambrills, her 9-year-old son was playing with his 6-year-old sister when another group of children confronted them.
“There were four other white kids playing in the park, and they were playing ninja games and they stopped playing their ninja games and said they couldn’t play here because they were of a different skin color, because they were brown,” Rorie said. “We’ve had conversations with them about authority figures but not little kids.”
Rorie’s shock became action, reaching out to the group Kindness Grows Here to help with a rally Wednesday night.
“It was her who said it to me, it is never too early conversations with your kids,” Kindness Grows Here owner Kristen Caminiti said.
“The turnout here, today, shows the love and support of the community, as well,” Rorie said.
The messages of love are a driving force to the group’s cause. In fact, this isn’t the first time they’ve used this method to stand against hate.
In 2017, a noose was hung at Crofton Middle School.
The group took a stand, addressed it with the same messages of love as two men faced charges – one of them spoke with Caminiti.
“He said he didn’t know. He didn’t understand how hurtful that would be,” Caminiti said.
And it’s more understanding through their Chalk the Walk that organizers hope would remain, showing no matter the color we’re all in this together.
“If you are in this situation, don’t be paralyzed. Don’t not know what to do,” Rorie said. “You say that it is not right. It doesn’t stand here.”
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