Faith, unity and kindness for a second year triumphed over divisiveness and hate.
People have proven what community togetherness can accomplish despite a white supremacist fatally shooting three people on April 13, 2014, at two Jewish centers in Overland Park.
F. Glenn Miller Jr., an anti-Semite, last year was sentenced to death in the slayings of William Corporon, 69, and his grandson Reat Underwood, 14, at the Jewish Community Center, and Terri LaManno, 53, at the nearby Village Shalom care center.
Surviving family members Mindy Corporon and Jim LaManno with the help of others in 2015 started SevenDays — Make a Ripple, Change the World. They deserve praise for creating daily events that have attracted hundreds of people to generate understanding, love, kindness and interfaith dialogue.
The event this year started on April 12 and ended Monday night, when more than 1,000 people attended a 3-mile peace walk from the Jewish Community Center to the Church of the Resurrection.
A new panel this year was called “Understanding Our Muslim Neighbors.” People of that faith also have suffered because of others’ hatred.
Organizers have said they will assess what worked with SevenDays and what might make the program better.
With that in mind, SevenDays should try to attract more African American, Latino, immigrant, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people by including groups that serve those communities.
The Black Lives Matter movement in the last two years has drawn attention to police shootings of unarmed black males, and ongoing political attacks have made Hispanics, immigrants and the LGBT community targets of hate.
SevenDays also could expand its locations to include events in the Northland, at Kansas City Public Schools in the city’s urban core, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Kan., and Independence.
This community is segregated with many barriers that include race, ethnicity, the state line and the Missouri River. Changing the locations for SevenDays events would attract a more inclusive audience and enhance the sense of community that organizers want to create.