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LETTER: Vigil organizers feel there is more work to be done

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Scott Christian, one of the organizers of the weekly BLM rallies, talks to supporters in April 2021.

Birthdays are once a year; there is one Fourth of July; and New Year’s Day is one day -- so why does the Black Lives Matter Vigil for Action go on and on through wintry days, sweltering heat and rain, every Saturday morning at Warrenton’s Courthouse Square?

Because we have something to say -- and it bears repeating.

For 400 years, descendants of free and enslaved African Americans have been marginalized by a system that renders them less educated and wealthy than the rest of society, and more likely to have health problems, live in substandard housing and be targeted by law enforcement. Ensuring the rights of African Americans doesn’t diminish anyone else’s rights; it makes our democracy stronger.

Sponsors of the Vigil are gratified by far more waves and honks than less positive reactions. We leave every Saturday with a renewed commitment to learn and advocate for change. Our work is more than one day a week. Over the last 12 months, our six sponsoring organizations:

  • Hosted forums, dialogs and events to foster learning, sharing and fellowship;
  • Advocated in a nonpartisan way for legislative and policy changes at the state and local levels that have helped level the playing field for all Virginians;
  • Created programs and projects that deepen our understanding of the rich heritage of Fauquier County; and
  • Registered new voters and published voter information.

We are committed to expanding our personal relationships to include people from different backgrounds. The idea is to move past racial and ethnic silos to better understand those whose path has been different from ours.

The Black Lives Matter Vigil for Action begins every Saturday at 10 am in Warrenton. Please join us. No experience necessary. We are grateful to the Warrenton Police Department for ensuring everyone’s right to freedom of speech.

Vigil sponsors: League of Women Voters of Prince William and Fauquier, the NAACP- Fauquier County Branch, the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County, the Piedmont Race Amity Project, the Northern Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and Coming to the Table - Northern Shenandoah Valley.

-- Scott Christian


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