Prayer for peace held for recent civil unrest at Westowne Square


More than 100 Marquette community members gathered in Westowne Square Monday afternoon to pray for peace after a weekend of civil unrest in Sherman Park.

It all began when Sylville Smith, 23, was shot and killed after he fled a traffic stop on Saturday. The incident was followed by riots and protests that lasted throughout the weekend.

At the service today, attendees formed a circle in front of The Alumni Memorial Union and began the service with a song and opening prayer led by Fr. T. Michael McNulty, S.J.

During his reflection William Welburn, executive director for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, stressed the importance to cross the “imaginary borders” of race.

“Closer to home on campus we will continue our dialogue on racial justice,” Welburn said.

The tone of the service was somber, yet there was a hint of hope in Welburn’s reflection.

“All of us our affected by a broken world,” Welburn said. “The question is: How can I help heal the broken world?”

Dr.Richard Lewis, Educational Opportunity Program writing specialist, who attended the service, said he thinks the university is taking a step in the right direction.

“I was so proud of my university for their response to come and pray,” Lewis said. “This is what to do to solve the problem.”