On Sunday evening, November 27, 2016, the Greater Birmingham Ministries and other organizations sponsored a “Stand As One” prayer vigil in Linn Park, across from City Hall in Birmingham.
More than 200 concerned people from Birmingham and around the state attended.
The purpose of the gathering was to “give thanks for ALL of our neighbors and to let them know that they are not alone.”
“We want to Stand As One especially with members of our community who may feel vulnerable and targeted by the divisive rhetoric of the presidential campaign. We want to shout out loud that regardless of religion, immigration status, race, sexual orientation, country of origin, mental or physical disabilities, we are all one and will not be divided,” said Rev. Angie Wright, Associate Director of Greater Birmingham Ministries.
Scott Douglas, Executive Director of GBM, said, “We are moved by our shared belief that, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “When one is affected directly, all are affected
indirectly. When our brothers and sisters are targeted and living in fear, it affects us all. It rips at the seams of our entire community. We plan to Stand As One to protect vulnerable families and communities in Alabama.”
“We stand as one against hate and fear and stand together for Love and Hope – no matter who you are, where you come from, how you worship, if you worship, what’s your gender, what’s your gender identity, who you love, how you are differently abled, how old you are, how young you are. We gather here today to march and pray that together we will stand as one.
“Mahatma Gandhi was once asked aren’t you a Hindu? He replied, “Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.” No, he wasn’t talking about his religious tradition, he was talking about his faithful tradition of solidarity with anyone who finds themselves oppressed and solidarity with any religion, any activity that lifts up humanity”, said Douglas.
Several other religious leaders including: Rev. Dollie Pinkney (CME),
Rabbi Barry Left (conservative Judiasm), Sister Gabrielle Ramirez (Roman Catholic), Imam Sameh Asal (Birmingham Islamic Society), Jim Truesdale (Presbyterian) and Rev. Angie Wright (United Church of Christ) also spoke and prayed together at the vigil.
Scott Douglas asked the group to “ Continue to stand as one using our cell phones. All you need to do is type “standasone” – one word – to 313131. That’s 313131 on the “to” line and “standasone” as the message”, as a way to stay in touch for the future.