Local religious leaders representing a variety of faiths will take part in the “Rally for Unity” in downtown Warrenton Saturday.
The event is intended to be a show of support for immigrants and others impacted by President Trump’s executive order barring citizens from seven mostly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
“Even if you don’t know somebody who’s being affected, they’re still our brothers and sisters all over the world,” said Scott Christian, an organizer of the rally. “Our hearts bleed for them.”
The event is an opportunity for Warrentonians to “stand in solidarity” against to policies that shut out refugees and lawful immigrants and to “stay engaged,” Christian said.
The rally will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in front of the John Barton Payne building and the Fauquier Bank, across Juvenile Courthouse building.
Christian is president of the Northern Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, which is sponsoring the event.
“Join in celebrating America as a land of immigrants -- a country made stronger by our diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds and shared democratic values,” said a Facebook page publicizing the event. “Help us re-affirm the immortal words on the Statue of Liberty: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…’”
Those expected to speak at the rally include:
- Hussein Rashwan, a Muslim American originally from Egypt who is now a citizen and businessman living with his family in Winchester.
- The Rev. James R. Kelly, pastor of Silver Hill Baptist Church, in Bealeton and president of the Fauquier County NAACP.
- Rabbi Rose Jacob, a self-described “free-range rabbi” in a five-county area.
- The Rev. Russ Savage, pastor of the Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge, in Sperryville, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Shenandoah Valley in Stephens City.
- John Ragosta, a fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and a visiting assistant professor of history at Randolph College.
- Brooksie Wells, a local singer/songwriter, will also attend. Wells grew up in the South with parents who fought for civil rights and the Equal Rights Amendment. Her last album, Down Home Divas, went to No. 2 on the Roots Americana Charts. Her new album, Nort East Rising Sun, marks a return to her folk roots, according to a press release about the event.
Contact Jill Palermo at firstname.lastname@example.org.