It's a new week.
What is new for you after
the Charleston Shooting?
Yesterday, Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC opened its doors and welcomed friends and strangers to their Sunday morning worship service. For a church, this was an ordinary and regular act of community. However, set in context of the horrific events from last week, this act of community required extraordinary measures. With the devastating will of one broken-minded individual armed with a gun, the community fabric was broken last Wednesday and anguish rippled across our nation. Yet, with grace and deep faith, the church doors opened, and the community gathered to ask the hard questions together, to mourn together, to heal together, to stand together, and most importantly, to BE together.
It is the beginning of a new week, and there is some positive movement: the suspected killer is in police custody, the FBI is leading an investigation, and the church has opened its doors for regular community gatherings. It is the beginning of a new week, yet NOTHING has changed the root causes and contributing factors that led a young man to such evil action with the intention of starting a race war.
It is a new week, yet nothing is new. Everything is still the same. This means we are certain to see another stunning hate crime, another mass extermination planned and executed. Unless ...
Unless we are willing to Be Community in a different way. Can we Be a Community where we celebrate inclusion of all people, teach creative alternatives to violence, and dismantle the socially constructed barriers that keep us categorized and separated? Yes, we can Be Community in this way.
We are facing a new week full of possibilities for us to do something different and turn the tide against hate. As the city of Charleston filled Emmanuel A.M.E. Church on Sunday to show support and stand in defiance of hate, you have many opportunities in the coming days to gather with others and act with the power of love. I am sharing a few events in the area, and you may know of even more. Let us try something new, talk to someone new, with the hopes that, together, we will find new ways of Being Community in Westchester County and beyond.
Peace to you,
Rev. Doris K. Dalton
Executive Director of MLK Institute for Nonviolence
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
WCPR Lunch Discussion Group
Tuesday at Noon, Panera Bread in White Plains
The WCPR (Westchester Coalition for Police Reform) group will begin a lunch discussion group to explore issues related to accountability and law enforcement. We will meet over lunch from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. You are welcome to join us! Our first meeting will be Tuesday, June 23, at noon at Panera Bread (1 Broadway, White Plains NY). Please RSVP to email@example.com so we will know to expect you.
WCPR is a coalition of concerned community organizations, religious institutions and individuals who share a vision to help build safe communities, with improved community-police relations and greater police accountability and transparency. We meet on the 2nd Thursday of every month to pursue legislative means to see our vision turn into reality.
One Week Later
Community Prayer Vigil and March
Remembering Mother Emmanuel A.M.E. Church Wednesday, June 24, 7 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, White Plains
This is an important interfaith and city-wide response to the Charleston shootings, and an opportunity for all of us to show solidarity and support to the members of the Charleston community and the greater A.M.E. church community. The MLK Institute for Nonviolence will be one of the community-based organizations represented at this event.
We will meet at Calvary Baptist Church (188 Orawaupum Street) in White Plains for a short prayer service, then march to Allen A.M.E. Church on Fisher Road, and then on to the Dr. King statue in front of the County Courthouse on So. Lexington Road. For further information, contact 914-948-2875.
Affirming Racial Equality and Dignity:
An Interfaith Service, Song and Supper
Sunday, June 28, 4 p.m. at Mount Hope A.M.E.Z. Church
Just as our faith communities have stood together for equality and justice in the past, let’s join together to a rm our belief in equal justice and dignity, to share our stories, to forge new friendships and to celebrate our unity under God. Join neighbors from the multitude of faith communities in our area for learning, joyful worship, music, discussion, and supper.
Date and Time: June 28, 2015 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Mount Hope AME Zion Church 65 Lake Street White Plains, NY
RSVP at www.ajc.org/westfair/dignity or call 914-948-5585 (the link works this time, I promise!)
The MLK Institute is a co-sponsor of this event. Please join us!