For Immediate Release
June 11, 2020 #CENTRALVALLEYUNITED
From: The Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, The Fresno Buddhist Temple, The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, and the Interfaith Alliance of Central California
RE: Friday, June 12, 2020 Vigil of Allies of the Black Lives Matter Movement
(7:00 -8:00 pm)
For a third Friday in a row, a Vigil of Allies of the Black Lives Matter Movement will take place 7:00-8:00 pm along Alluvial Ave, between Chestnut and Willow, beginning at the Black Lives Matter Banners at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno (2672 E. Alluvial Avenue, Fresno CA 93720).
Social Distancing of 6-8 feet will be strictly maintained as allies of the Black Lives Matter Movement space themselves up and down Alluvial Ave, beginning at the Black Lives Matter banners. Face masks are required. All are invited to join the vigil and bring hand-made signs supporting BLM.
The vigil is co-sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno and the Fresno Buddhist Temple. Joining them as new co-sponsors this week will be the Islamic Center of Fresno and the Interfaith Alliance of Central California. The Interfaith Alliance of Central California (IACC) celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. IACC offer a forum to challenge bigotry and believe that religious and cultural diversity is essential to building and sustaining vibrant communities.
Those unable to attend in person are invited participate in spirit by lighting a candle in their home or outside their front door on Friday night between 7:00 – 8:00 pm.
The vigil supports the 10 demands presented to City Council on Thursday by the young black members of Fresno State’s chapter of the NAACP. Friday’s vigil is an opportunity for allies to stand in support and with respect for Fresno’s State’s chapter of the NAACP, acknowledging their leadership of the Black Lives Matter movement in the City of Fresno.
Fresno State’s chapter of NAACP’s 10 demands for Fresno are:
- Mayor-elect Jerry Dyer must acknowledge the research-backed disparities for what they are and cease explanations based on personal opinion or perspective of said issues. This feeds into negative stereotypes and stigmas, specifically those that refer to black and brown people.
- Community involvement in the hiring process of a new police chief. There must be community members on the hiring committee, and they must receive a vote.
- Charges brought against Fresno Police Department Officers Christopher Martinez and R. Loza, who brutalized London Wallace, and Sgt. Ray Villalvazo who shot 16-year-old Isiah Murrietta-Golding in the back of his head.
- Address and respond to complaints filed by community members regarding the Fresno Police Department’s pattern and practice of shooting individuals. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Fresno County District Attorney’s Office has not charged or convicted any repeat shooters, such as Villalvazo.
- Eliminate qualified immunity for cops and establish police bond. They should be treated as any other individual committing a crime.
- Explain the strategy for firing racist police officers.
- Elected officials must inform the community on their process for deciding Fresno’s
budget and what next year’s financing will look like, including transparency specifically
about west Fresno support.
- Mandate non-violence training for any officers responding in the Fresno community.
- Establish a more diverse police force that will reflect our communities. Police officers
should live in Fresno if they want to work in Fresno.
- Create stricter regulations for industrial plants. They should not be allowed to expose
the black community to their toxins.
For more information, please contact:
Rev. Tim Kutzmark, Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno firstname.lastname@example.org
Fresno Buddhist Temple email@example.com
Executive Director, Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Norman Broadbent and Irfan Ali
Co-Chairs, Interfaith Alliance of Central California email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org