Calvin College Chimes

BLM stays consistent in vigils

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This past Wednesday, Oct. 4, there was a Black Lives Matter Vigil at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids from 12:15 to 12:45 pm. The first Wednesday of every month, the Grand Rapids community is able to come together at the Rosa Parks Statue in order to be a public witness to building relationships with others who are seeking racial justice and equality. All Souls Community Church is the lead organizer in this vigil of Black Lives Matter. However, they are hoping to involve as many people as they can in order to confront the issue of racial injustice head-on. By meeting the first Wednesday of every month, the Grand Rapids community is able to maintain consistent attention to this issue, rather than only when tragedy strikes.

Revered Colleen Squires of All Souls Community Church discusses the challenges of holding this vigil publicly in the downtown of a large community.

“Denial, fear and complacency are our three greatest challenges. When you stand on the sidewalk and hold a sign that says Black Lives Matter, you will experience how your fellow citizen will treat you.  This will show you how important and difficult it is to name and confront the hate in our world.”

Building partnerships with people in the community is a necessity for organizations like these to thrive, which is why All Souls Community Church has been quietly joined by Fountain Street Church, Plymouth United Church of Christ, and Westminster Presbyterian. These churches have been working hard to educate others about racial justice issues while wearing buttons or wristbands to spark conversations.

College students from local schools have been joining this vigil, and it is the hope of All Souls Community Church that Calvin students will recognize their calling to support and love one another and participate in this equality movement.

Revered Colleen Squires said, “We reach our goal when people authentically live out Jesus’ second commandment to ‘love your neighbor,’ or, in my case, to see and believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”

In order to increase awareness about this group and racial equality in general, students can like Facebook pages For Harriet and The Root to keep updated on current events and think more deeply about these issues in today’s society.

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