Excerpt from Executive Director Dr. Charlae Davis’s message at the Interfaith Community Vigil on February 22nd, 2016, at First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo:
(Please hold the hands of your neighbors sitting next to you.)
We are a community, we are a family and we feel sadness, we feel powerlessness, we feel grief, we feel disbelief, we feel fear, we feel mistrust and we feel pain. We acknowledge these true emotions because we are human. We lean on each other right now, we support one another and we hold one another up as we grieve the lives lost.
As we hold each other’s hands right now, we do so understanding that we bear this tragedy together. We are brothers, we are sisters, we are family members in this community and we are not alone. We are not lost. We wrap our hands and we wrap our hearts together and we totally understand that a rope with more strands brings strength, brings resilience and it brings support. That rope cannot be broken.
We realize that we are not the first community shaken by senseless gun violence. But we are determined that we will work and we will act so that we might be the last.
We understand that together in the days to come that the emotions of sadness, grief, fear and powerlessness that we are rightfully feeling now, can propel us into action.
(Please squeeze the hands that you are holding gently.)
In the midst of this all, we hold on to one another and we embrace tightly together. We act in love, we act in hope, we act in faith, we act in peace, we act in strength, we act in collective change, we act in life-changing action and we act in power!
We are in this together as a community and hate will not win!