It is with a sorrowful heart and outraged conscience that we stand in solidarity with our communities who grieve the senseless loss of life last night at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The murder of 9 people of faith from the African Methodist Episcopal Church due to the sin of racism and the evil of violence is incomprehensible.
I am saddened today by the killings and brutal taking of innocent lives in Charleston. I grew up in South Carolina and recognize the systemic pain of racism continues. We must confront it. In my work as former president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO we worked with NAACP and community partners to expose the racism and blinding prejudice that for too long has ripped a false fracture in the state and nation. We must increase our efforts. My prayers go out to those who lost family members to this senseless violence and to the entire community of Charleston who I hold close to my heart.
Today many of you joined us as we stood in solidarity with the Midwest Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in prayer vigil at Bethel AME in Kansas City. Thank you.
A statement from Rev. Steven A. Cousins and Rev. Robert Shaw:
“The issue of violence has become a drastic stain within our community. It is during these impious times the church must come forward to make a stand and to say yes to life, for our Savior in the Gospel recorded by John states, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)”
Thank you for your love and support. Please continue to pray.
Member, Board of Directors
Communities Creating Opportunity