On Sept. 9, 2015, Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, posted a call-to-action on Facebook: “We need 10,000 fearless men to go into the Black community, stand between the guns of the gangs and then settle this with conflict resolution!” This charge was made one month before the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March.
United by love, Atlanta ministers Rev. Timothy McDonald and student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad answered the call and formed the 10,000 Fearless of the South. The headquarters is located at 801 Joseph E. Boone Boulevard in The Bluff, a crime-ridden community in northwest Atlanta — west of Georgia Tech and the Georgia Dome, once dubbed: “Atlanta’s open-air heroin supermarket.”
Call it community policing or sheer heroism, but Atlanta’s 10,000 Fearless Men and Women have reclaimed their community.
“We are patrolling our own community; we have our own cars and trucks. We offer a training class every Thursday at 6 o’clock to community members. You can’t just send anyone out to stand between the guns and the people,” explains Min. Muhammad. “We literally have had a brother who was selling Final Call newspapers to stand between one brother who ran up into another man’s house and disrespected him. They both ran to get their guns, one in the house and the other in the trunk of his car, and they were preparing to have a shootout. The 10,000 Fearless brother talked them into putting their guns down and the families of both adversaries thanked 10,000 Fearless — that’s real. It’s not just talk.”
“We’re making a difference where it appears nobody else was willing to grapple with the intricacies and challenges of The Bluff, which was once known as a thriving community,” adds Rev. McDonald, senior pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church. “There’s violence, drugs and shooting [in the community] but we don’t have guns. We come in peace, love and unity to make a difference. We have experienced that our presence there as Christians and Muslims working together is making a difference. The people respect us because we respect them. The people love us because we love them. It has been a joy because we started the feeding program there, Hundreds of residents come on Tuesdays and Thursdays and out of that we build relationships. We are very proud of the work of the 10,000.”
The 10,000 Fearless Men & Women Headquarters of the South is a free, 24-hour conflict resolution center founded in the spirit of love and unity to provide resources and training that empowers families spiritually, physically and economically, promotes peace and ultimately transforms communities. Other offerings include a food pantry, youth programs, veterans resources, clothing drives and educational programs.
Recently, Rev. McDonald and Min. Muhammad received the Bishop Cornelius Presidential Award from Concerned Black Clergy of Metro Atlanta.
“Our aim is to bring down the crime in this area. To do it nonviolently, it isn’t to take over law enforcement,” McDonald confirms.
Atlanta Police Chief George Turner welcomes their activism.
“It’s very powerful that we are able to patrol in our own vehicles, the 10,000 Fearless community patrol so people know there are brothers and sisters who come in the spirit of nonviolence and are here for you. We teach conflict resolution at the home. Just the contact that we have with the residents there has been absolutely phenomenal and the respect is unbelievable. We make sure we return the respect. We know there are drugs in the community and there are people who have been incarcerated in this community but we know that God is in The Bluff. Minister Farrakhan has said it, Christians and Muslims, we are worshipping really the same God by different names,” McDonald closes.
10,000 Fearless Men and Women survives on donations. There’s currently a GoFundMe campaign. Donations can also be made on PayPal: www.paypal.me/10000fearless or by calling (678) 974-7514. For additional information, visit www.10000FearlessoftheSouth.com.