CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – People of different ages, races, and religions joined together Saturday outside the Old Carlisle Courthouse and hoped to bring the entire community together.
“I’ve always been very interested in my community,” Michael Smith said. “Most people are a little bit shocked and they say, ‘Oh, you seem kind of young to be doing this kind of thing.'”
People are shocked to realize 15-year-old Michael Smith, a sophomore and class president at Carlisle Area High School, came up with the idea for the rally he calls a non-political, non-partisan way to promote a more welcoming community.
“There’s a lot of division, and there’s a lot of hate going around,” Smith said. “It seemed like we needed an event that promoted love and peace in Carlisle.”
The group took a pledge to bring equality, fairness, opportunity, diversity, and non-violence to Carlisle.
Jennifer Smith brought her seven-year-old son Rex and her five-year-old son Leland to the rally.
“I just think that it’s important to be good citizens, to accept everyone, and to reach out to everyone,” Smith said.
Kulwinder Singh emigrated from Punjavi, India to Carlisle 16 years ago. He practices Sikhism as his religion and came to the rally with his dad.
“I think events like this show what America is actually made of,” Singh said. “It’s not just one group, one individual, it’s the unity of different cultures, different religions.”
Carlisle Mayor Tim Scott, teachers, students, and those who live in the area spoke at the event.
“We just people to come together, see their neighbors, see their friends, and just to reaffirm and recommit to inclusion and unity,” Scott said.
“We want to send the message regardless of race, religion, biology, everyone is welcomed in Carlisle,” Smith said.
Smith and other students organized the event and said age shouldn’t stop you from trying to bring the community together.