DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The United Church of Christ hosted a vigil for Michael Brown Monday, Aug. 25 in the UCC's Amistad Chapel in Downtown Cleveland in recognition of "Hands Up Walk Out," a day of solidarity coordinated by organizers in Ferguson, MO.
Taking place at 1:00 in communities throughout the country, "Hands Up Walk Out" asks students, faith groups, civic leaders and concerned citizens to hold vigils and moments of silence to commemorate the day of Brown's funeral, taking place on what would have been his first day of college.
Brown is the unarmed African American teen who was fatally shot by a white police officer on Aug. 9, an event which sparked race-related riots and violence throughout the St. Louis area.
"Our young people are deeply impacted by what they see on the news and they know there is a great sense of grief, pain and unrest. We want to support families and faith communities in talking about that pain and processing it," says the Rev. Waltrina Middleton, the UCC's minister for youth advocacy, who will lead the vigil. "Most importantly, we must address the systemic issues feeding this culture of violence seen not only in Ferguson, but here in Cleveland. There is an urgency of now to talk about race and racism, poverty and other issues."
The 30-minute vigil will include song and prayer inside the UCC's Amistad Chapel, and an outside vigil on Prospect Avenue. After writing "Don't Shoot" on their hands, participants will stand in front of the UCC's headquarters with their hands up for a few moments of silence before a closing prayer.