For the first time in its history, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club will solemnly display a political message at its Mardi Gras parade on February 28, 2017. This Monday, Zulu president Naaman Craig Stewart has announced that the 2017 theme will be “Stop the Violence”.
Following the shootings of three members’ sons and the deaths of several small children due to violence this month, Stewart thought that it was time for the century-old club to take a stand in addressing this issue directly at a major social event such as Mardi Gras. ”I just thought we needed to do something bigger, we needed to use this platform to be able to express our concern about crime in the city,” he said in a WWL interview.
On Mother’s Day, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club has also thrown a festival called Zulu on the Bayou, an event destined to mothers whose kids were victims of violence. In being directly active in the community, the club wishes to raise awareness towards that cause and potentially inspire other organizations to do so. "We're just hoping that we're able to reach the right people with the right message at the right time,” Stewart said.
“Stop the Violence” will be visible on all of Zulu’s floats, throws, beads and cups.