DECEMBER 9, 2022
Voices for peace Encyclopedia of Antiwar

Kenny Akers: A Profile in Courage

Kenny Akers: A Profile in Courage

Introduction to Antiwar Efforts

In the tapestry of antiwar movements, voices of courage and resilience often emerge from the unlikeliest of places. One such voice belongs to Kenny Akers, a veteran, public speaker, author, and founder of the Academy for Anti-Racism & Social Change. His story is a testament to the power of individual action in the face of violence and chaos, embodying the principles of peace and nonviolence that are foundational to antiwar activism.

A Moment of Bravery

On the morning of May 30th, 2020, Salt Lake City witnessed a largely peaceful protest mourning the death of George Floyd and expressing solidarity with the Black community. However, as tensions rose, a small group turned violent, burning cars and vandalizing stores. Amidst this chaos, Kenny Akers stepped forward.

As seen in a video that has garnered over 100,000 views on YouTube, Akers arrived at a downtown convenience store surrounded by a throng of people. Without hesitation, he took command of the situation, calling for peace and redirecting the crowd's anger. His powerful voice cut through the chaos, transforming a scene of pandemonium into one of calm.

A Legacy of Service

Kenny Akers' actions on that day were not born out of obligation but a deep-seated commitment to peace and justice. As a former military police officer in the Navy, Akers traveled to over 52 countries, often finding himself in precarious situations. His experiences abroad, coupled with his dedication to maintaining peace, have shaped his approach to conflict resolution and community leadership.

The True Cost of Bravery

Akers' intervention was not without risk. As a person of color, he understood the heightened danger he faced. The United States' racial dynamics mean that stepping into such a volatile situation could have had dire consequences. Yet, Akers' commitment to doing the right thing transcended personal risk. His actions that day were a beacon of hope and a call to action, demonstrating that nonviolence and courageous leadership can prevail even in the most challenging circumstances.

A Call to Action

Kenny Akers' story is a powerful reminder that individual actions can have profound impacts. His bravery and unwavering commitment to peace exemplify the core values of the antiwar movement. As we reflect on his actions, we are reminded of the importance of standing up against violence and advocating for change through peaceful means.

We will delve deeper into Kenny Akers' extraordinary moment of bravery and his ongoing efforts to address racial inequity and violence in the next episode of the VINI Podcast. Through his story, we see that there is another way—one that calls for redirecting our rage and embracing nonviolence as a path to true and lasting change.

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