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Buffalo Strong Walk for Peace

by Danielle Church (WGRZ)

It was Mount Mercy Academy's way of standing against hate, racism, and violence after a reality check on May 14.

"A reality check that it's actually happening around here," said Lucy Duggan, a junior at Mount Mercy. "Standing here today is us realizing that we have to do something."

Students say it was the least they could do for their community members and those killed and injured in the Tops shooting. 

"This affected us as a whole," said Kennedy Cerrone, a junior at Mount Mercy. "We are all mourning the losses and we need to do something about it."

Doing something about it meant inviting other schools.

"I wanted to walk on behalf of my husband's cousin, Marcus Morrison, and another survivor was also his cousin, Zaire Goodman," said Tracy McCloud, whose son attends Bishop Timon High School. 

Doing something about it meant writing messages to the victims' families and putting them in pillows created by McCloud. 

"When everything has died down, they still have long term encouragement because they can pull out a note at any given time and see what Mount Mercy has said," McCloud said. "Even though they didn't know (the victims), a lot of (students) still wrote notes for every one of (their families)."

But doing something long-term, means informing current and future generations about anti-racism. 

"We have it embedded in our curriculum," said Mount Mercy Academy head of school Michele Melligan. "We know and believe that (the students) are the future."

A future where hopefully everyone can focus more on what's inside. 

"We all have the same blood. They wanted to show us love. That's what it's all about," McCloud said. 

"Mount Mercy has positively changed my life forever. Through the inviting community, I was able to grow as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a member of society. Throughout my time here I have gained an education in both academic areas and life in general through the school's ongoing efforts to educate students on gender inequality, racial injustice, and environmental crisis'. Furthermore, Mercy has given me the space to gain confidence that 4 years ago I never would have guessed I would have. Mount Mercy has helped me take that initial step toward becoming the strong woman of color I am today. At Mercy you are more than just a student, you are whoever you wish to be."

Melina Courtney

Class of 2022

"My future, success, and the ability to be an empowered woman in society come from Mount Mercy. My school is a strong foundation for my role in life. From attending Mount Mercy, I can say with confidence, that I will graduate with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Mercy is my home and my sanctuary to be whoever I want. Mount Mercy has been bringing forth generations of strong intellectual women into the world, and I am more than honored to be one of them. Mercy teaches girls more than academics, but also about the world around us. As a mercy community, we give back to the world because it is our home. From my four years at Mercy, I have been educated on pushing for equality and peace and the understanding that there is no limit to what I can do. I have the confidence to go out in the world and make a difference because being a Mercy girl has given me that opportunity. "

Cassidy Reid

Class of 2022

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

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