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Rhode Island religious leaders hold prayer vigil/call to action on racism

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Governor Raimondo committed to doubling down on “action for better education, action for criminal justice reform, action for equality in health care, action for equal access to housing, action for fairness in wages, and action for an end to police brutality and racism.”


“We are calling for healing and deliverance,” prayed Reverend Howard Jenkins, kicking off a call to action and prayer vigil on the south steps of the Rhode Island State House in response to the police murder of George Floyd and the protests taking place around the country and throughout the state. “We your people, off all races, nationalities, beliefs, have come calling out for you and we are of one accord: praying and believing change is in view.”

Around 250 people, mostly clergy, all wearing masks and socially distancing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, attended the event, as did Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo.

Below is all the video.

Reverend Chontell Washington delivered the welcome.

Governor Raimondo committed to doubling down on “Action for better education, action for criminal justice reform, action for equality in health care, action for equal access to housing, action for fairness in wages, and action for an end to police brutality and racism.”


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Rabbi Barry Dollinger delivered a lamentation for the loss of life.

Reverend Justin Lester spoke on racial injustice.

Reverend Kurt Walker sang “There is a Balm.”

Reverend Liz Lerner-Maclay spoke about healing and changing hearts and minds.

Imam Farid Ansari spoke passionately about peace and life:

Reverend Howard returned with a call to action.

Reverend Viola Morris-Buchanon delivered to closing benediction.

Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com