Westerville march turns to action by supporting black-owned businesses

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The demonstrations in Columbus for racial equality aren’t limited to downtown.

This past week we saw numerous communities in central Ohio hold their own protests, and Westerville has now had two marches in a matter of days.

On Sunday afternoon, around a hundred people came together in Westerville, starting at the Alum Creek Amphitheater and marching through the town chanting and holding signs from noon until 2 p.m.

Desmond Fernandez organized Sunday’s event, and that’s after he put together a demonstration that happened in Westerville on Wednesday.

He said that after that first event, he received hundreds of messages on social media requesting a second demonstration. So, he decided he would put together an event for the weekend, but Fernandez wanted to make it two parts: the first, a march through Westerville, and the second, encouraging participants to take things further with financial support.

“Everyone has these dreams as far as what they want for a better world, and now what we want to do is put that into reality and we can amplify black voices, but now we need to amplify black businesses,” Desmond explained. “Love is what encompasses and makes the world a better place, but we have to be honest: money makes the world go ‘round. We’ve got to put our money where our mouth is and we have to start making that change.”

So that brought phase two of the demonstration to NoniKnows Restaurant for the “Dreams to Reality” community engagement event, hosted by Noni Grear, the owner and head chef of the black-owned holistic and healthy eating business located east of downtown Columbus.

The restaurant is part of the Community Threads Holistic Center.

Supporters came together for good food, good conversation, and to listen to community speakers.

On Facebook, Fernandez wrote, “Today you will be heard, you will be seen, you will be educated, and your soul will be lifted even higher to want to continue to fight for justice.”

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