Community Action Event Commemorates Down Payment on Dr. King's "DREAM"
August 26, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 26, 2013
Contacts: Zoraida Gonzalez-Torres, Rev. Marilyn Dixon-Hill, Rev. Heyward Wiggins
Camden Churches Organized for People demand Down-Payment on the Dream
Community Action Event part of national Lifelines bus tour
CAMDEN, NJ - More than 100 community members gathered last night at Holy Name Church in North Camden for a community action event hosted by Camden Churches Organized for People (CCOP) as part of national commemorations leading up to the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Attendees included County Prosecutor Faulk, Sgt. Elizer Agron, and Warren Harding from the Department of Justice's Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division.
Urban and suburban congregations gathered and walked through the North Camden community to press for a down payment on Dr. King's "DREAM" of a more just community by calling on the community to support a Ceasefire violence prevention strategy as well as educate their neighbors on the upcoming vote to increase the minimum wage. CCOP gathered a diverse, inter-faith group that shares values of dignity and justice to lift up the moral voice in directing a local and national conversation around issues of gun violence, incarceration, employment and human dignity across racial lines.
Camden clergy called for law enforcement and public officials to be just and prudent in crafting policies that affect young Black and Brown men. Reverend Marilyn Dixon-Hill, a clergy member of CCOP and associate pastor of Camden Bible Tabernacle, said that the environment in Camden and throughout the country highlights the need for a moral renewal to preserve the sanctity of all life. "A spirit of fear and apathy has taken a chokehold of Camden. It is 50 years later and we are still on that island of poverty and pain. Enough is enough! Martin Luther King Jr. was once asked, when will you be satisfied? And I say as he did, that we the common people cannot be satisfied as long as Black and Brown families are veterans of created suffering, we cannot be satisfied!"
Representatives from the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-Violence, Newtown, CT residents, and leaders with the PICO National Network's "Lifeline to Healing" Campaign were also present for the night walk that followed the action. The community event is part of PICO's national bus tour in the week leading up to the 50th anniversary celebrations in Washington, DC. The national bus tour will build awareness around the persistent disparities that exist between King's dream and the realities of being a person of color in 2013. Additional information about the bus tour can be found online: http://www.lifelinestohealing.org/events
CCOP is a faith-based community organizing federation composed of more than 15 congregations working together to transform conditions for individuals and families in the city of Camden. CCOP is a member of the PICO National Network. The PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. CCOP and PICO federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. CCOP and PICO urge people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at www.camdenchurches.org and www.piconetwork.org.