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Columbus, OH 43215


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NAACP Award Recipient and Local Activist Remembered

Columbus City Councilmembers Shannon Hardin and Jaiza Page mourn the loss of community and social justice activist MarShawn M. McCarrel II.

McCarrel, 23, passed away on February 8, 2016. He was found on the steps of the Statehouse.

“The untimely loss of any life has a devastating impact, especially when so many were positively impacted by the deceased,” said Hardin who participated in a few of McCarrel’s programs. 

“Today, we acknowledge and celebrate the life of MarShawn McCarrel, another member of our community gone too soon, but one whose impact in the City of Columbus will not soon be forgotten. I offer my condolences to his family and Bev Staples.”

Beverlyn “Bev” Staples is another fixture in the community who worked with McCarrel on numerous homeless issues.

McCarrel co-founded Pursuing Our Dreams (POD) providing youth programming throughout the city and Feed the Streets, a campaign that gives food to the homeless. Every month for the past two years, 20 to 30 volunteers and friends work to deliver home-made lunches to homeless people in different areas of the city. 

“MarShawn was a beautiful young man who had recently received the NAACP Hometown Hero Award for his work with POD and Feed the Streets to fight homelessness and hunger,” said Page who also knew McCarrel.

“He was a model of selflessness, which makes the thought of him suffering in private all the harder to accept. While the flame of his life has been extinguished, the impact of the light he has brought into the world is undeniable,” Page continued.

In a 2014 interview, McCarrel reflected on an event at Westgate Park he helped organize, “It was beautiful to me, it was like family,” he said. “In city life, we might not know our neighbor for years – community is not just folks occupying space, it’s building relationships.”

Once referred to as the “Pied Piper of Selflessness,” MarShawn McCarrel, II, will certainly be missed.