You are invited to join United Church of Chapel Hill in a weekly vigil for racial justice. We gather to remember and honor those who have lost their lives due to police brutality, and to remain watchful and engaged in the work against systemic and institutional racism.
This is a vigil, not a protest. There are no speakers or marches, and all who support racial justice are welcome. Taking a stand together is a powerful and empowering way for us to speak our truth – and it matters.
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE: REVIEW OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
WHERE: UCCH along Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
WHEN: Every Friday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
WHAT TO BRING:
- A sign that conveys a message of antiracism
- Water, sunscreen, and a chair if you prefer to sit
- Face mask and hand sanitizer
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE:
- Participants agree to practice CDC recommended hygiene practices and social distancing at all times. There are colored markings that are 6 feet apart on the sidewalk. Wear a mask or other face covering.
- The church will not be open, so please plan accordingly
- Sign ideas: This NPR article lists the names of our brothers and sisters who have been murdered since Eric Garner’s death in July 2014
- We have hand sanitizer as well as leftover signs that have been made/collected and left for others to use for future vigils
- At 4 p.m., we invite those present to move to the road and remind them to keep at least 6 feet between participants. We have colored markings spaced 6 feet apart as a reminder.
- Please come with your mask on and keep a safe distance from the road
- Remember that not everyone will share our view and they may show this in different ways. Please refrain from any confrontation.
- Don’t forget sunscreen and especially WATER because the church building will not be open
- The vigil should conclude at 5 p.m.
- If you are interested in hosting one of the weekly vigils, email Natalie Boorman
QUESTIONS? Contact Natalie Boorman
The model we follow is from Binkley Baptist Church. If you are part of a religious community, we encourage you to take this model back to your organization as we did, and do what you can to encourage a weekly vigil.
I once wondered if attending the UCCH Black Lives Matter Vigil makes a difference.
Recently, a passerby stopped her car and got out to talk with a few of us. She cried a few brief tears as she explained that seeing us as she drives home from work reminds her that there are Americans who believe in justice and that black lives matter. She related that she moved to the US from Mozambique with her family, full of hope that her new country would be a welcoming place. But she is frightened by the racism and anger she has witnessed.
This woman’s testimony helped me understand both the trauma of racism and the impact of this weekly vigil. Many of the passing truckers, bus drivers, bikers, cars and local neighbors regularly honk, cheer, yell “thanks” and wave enthusiastically. While there are occasional negative responses as well, we are heartened to see that so many who pass by on Friday afternoon are appreciative of this vigil. We extend a welcome to all.
Please join the UCCH Black Lives Matter Vigil* on Friday afternoons from 4 – 5 pm at the MLK Blvd entrance to the church. Come once or come often. We all enjoy the fellowship.You may contact Natalie and Gary Boorman (firstname.lastname@example.org) for info.
*”Black Lives Matter” does not mean that Black lives are more important than other lives or that all lives don’t matter. Jesus models God’s love of justice and of all people. The BLM vigil enables us to be a witness in the striving for a more just and loving community.
#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.