Anti-racism vigil in Iron County
It was a night of reflection and prayer on Sunday at Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp near Crystal Falls. More than 125 people took part in a Stand Up Against Racism Vigil.
"I hope our hearts break. I hope they break open to new possibilities, to new conversations. I hope they break open to perspectives they didn't know before. I hope we can move towards a better tomorrow, for everyone, and particularity our black siblings,” said a Unitarian Universalist minister, Greta Jo Seidohl, who was also the vigil organizer.
This was a family-friendly event. Upper Michigan community members, leaders and clergy attended. Seidohl says this was an opportunity to show an out-pour of support to the black community, amidst the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and just Friday night, Rayshard Brooks.
"We can't pretend or stay silent,” she said.
The vigil included some readings from black authors.
"We are trying to amplify the voices of those who are being most impacted, by this crisis,” said Seidohl
More than 100 names of black people whose lives have been taken due to racial violence, were also read aloud. The audience joined in reading. Then, 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence in honor of George Floyd.
A Dickinson County resident and attendee, Sarah Shaker, who grew up in Iron River, she came to support equality.
"Just here to support the lives that have been lost and here to make change in our local community,” she said.
She hopes more people feel welcome in the area.
"Less racial comments, more inclusiveness, basically for everyone of all colors, all ethnicities, all socio-economic backgrounds,” said Shaker.
This was the first vigil held in Iron County, but it won't be the last.
"It is really important, that this is an ongoing commitment, of accountability and conversations,” said Seidohl.
For more information on future Iron County anti-racism events