#HumanityNotHate Kicks off in Walpole with Candlelight Vigil in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
More than 50 Walpoleans and other neighbors from the area braved the cold to gather on the Common on Sunday, January 17 in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to stand up for Humanity Not Hate. By candlelight and flashlight, Revs. Craig Breismeister and Susan Kershaw spoke about the legacy of Rev. Dr. King and the importance of continuing his work to honor our country’s promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by supporting efforts to be a respectful, civil and tolerant society. Former Cheshire County Commissioner Jack Pratt, who actually worked with Rev. Dr. King during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, spoke of his experience and reminded those gathered that the work of equality and dignity for all must continue. The event concluded with a moving rendition of “We Shall Overcome,” led by the children who attended.
The candlelight vigil, sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Walpole, St. John’s Episcopal Church and Walpole Unitarian Church, was the first of a series of events being planned in Walpole in 2016. #HumanityNotHate seeks to bring Walpole area citizens together in a variety of ways through our public spaces to affirm the importance of religious freedom, respect for diversity and civility in the face of a national discourse that has become increasingly hostile, divisive and fear-mongering. The happening occurred as a result of a few concerned Walpole citizens who started talking amongst themselves about how to bring a positive voice and attitude out into our public sphere, particularly to counter messages of Islamophobia. More details of future events will be announced as the clergy and Walpole citizens involved in the planning finalize them. If you have any questions or would like to take part in #HumanityNotHate, please contact any one of the churches.
(Photo credit: Ryan Harrison)