Project Unity USA plans to make its presence here known Saturday by having a "Unity Day and March Celebration" against violence in North Charleston.
The nonprofit organization started in Columbia by working with local law enforcement, churches and businesses to create programs that reduce violence and educate the public. Marlvis "Butch" Kennedy, director of the organization's Charleston branch, said Saturday's event is aimed at letting criminals know that the community is fighting back and raising awareness about health and social issues.
The 10 a.m. march will be led by North Charleston and Stall high schools' marching bands.
The celebration will feature vendors, entertainers and speakers. Entertainers include several gospel choirs, rap performances and an aquatic animal display by the South Carolina Aquarium. There also will be a health fair, jump castles and face painting.
"This is sort of like our coming out party," Kennedy said. "It's going to be a multi-cultural, big diverse day. To me, it's going to be a historical day."
Kennedy said the organization already has joined with local business and community leaders to establish new programs in the Charleston area, such as a mentor program and a summer internship program that has found government-contracting jobs for 14 high school and college students.
Kennedy said the organization also sponsors the REALMAD program, which teaches students that "Real men don't hit women."
"When you get churches together, when you get businesses together, when you get community leaders together all as a group, you can get so much more done than just as one person," he said.