Girl Scouts, First Baptist call for unity

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Participants representing Girl Scout Group 5073 are pictured with the Rev. Dwight Riddick of First Baptist Church Franklin. They are Daphne Reid, from left, Tora Sweat, Janay Sweat, Christie Hill, Shakiya Hill, Alyshia Hill, Latashia Joyner, Devonda Gary, Amani Gary, Julia Hand, India Reid, Chloe Pope, Indiyah Stephenson, LeAndra Watford, Cheryl Tanner, Erykah Harris, Briana Whitfield, Brionna Reid, Asya Walton, Darlene Stephenson, Jennifer Hand and Kisha Watford. -- Gwen Albers | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—Just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did decades before, Girl Scouts from Troop 5073 of Boykins led a march calling for unity Monday.

Between 150 and 200 marched from the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on Oak Street in Franklin to First Baptist Church on Hall Street. A program followed at the church.

Troop leader Kisha Watford said the program started as a Gold Award project for her daughter. The Gold Award is the highest in Girl Scouts and focuses on a 14- to 18-year-old scout’s interests and personal journey through leadership skills, career explorations, self-improvement and service.

“But time didn’t allow that, so we just came together as a troop to do an activity that would put unity back in our community,” Watford said.

Troop 5073 will earn the I Have a Dream patch for their efforts.

Scout Breana Whitfield, 14, said she didn’t expect so many people to come out for the march.

“It feels inspiring to do something that hasn’t been done here before,” she said.

At the church, the Rev. D.S. Riddick spoke about the importance of unity in the community and compared it to a marching band with members with different talents all playing different instruments but sharing a common goal.

“As we get ready to move into our new community — one that operates together — it’s not going to be easy,” he said.

Unity will lead to better communities, homes, schools and churches, Riddick said.

Watford said the troop hopes to make the march an annual event involving more organizations and drawing an even larger crowd in the future. The troop also accepted donations for the MLK Research Center in Atlanta.