Cambridge Holds Memorial Vigil for George Floyd

On June 1, over 1,000 people attended a “virtual vigil” organized by the City of Cambridge via Facebook Live and 22-CityView in memory of George Floyd, who was killed last week by the Minneapolis Police Department. The vigil was a time for reflection and remarks acknowledging the pain being experienced by the community and to remember the many lives lost to racism, intolerance, police brutality, and other forms of violence.

Cambridge Peace Commission Executive Director Brian Corr opened the vigil, followed by Pastor Lorraine Thornhill, President of the Cambridge Black Pastors Alliance, who offered her reflections on the need for action and an invocation calling for justice.

Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui reminded everyone of the need to stand with the Black community, and Councillor Denise Simmons shared a staggeringly long list of reasons that African Americans figuratively “can’t breathe.”  City Manager Louis DePasquale and Police Commissioner Branville Bard reiterated the need for going beyond words and shared work that the City as a whole and the Police Department are doing to eliminate racism, address bias, and create equity.

Next, Police Superintendent Christine Elow shared her experience growing up in Cambridge, how that led her to become a police officer and eventually a leader in the department, the changes that she is working on in the department, and her own concerns as a mother of two Black sons. Bishop Brian Greene shared his own experiences facing discrimination in Cambridge as a young person and how that led to his work in the community, followed by a benediction. Corr closed the vigil with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King and a request that people remember George Floyd and “say his name,” and to take care of each other and work for justice.

This vigil is just one part of the City’s commitment to make Cambridge a more equitable, just, and welcoming community for all who live, work, learn, and visit. Over the last year, the City’s Leadership Team has worked with almost 100 of City Department Heads and senior leaders on training and leadership development tied to equity and inclusion. Core to that effort has been work looking at identity, structural racism, and its impacts on the City and its staff. We will be continuing and expanding that work, including new anti-bias training for all employees. This work is deeply important to the City and it is critical to the effective delivery of services to our diverse community. The City, its elected officials and staff all recognize that this work is crucial now more than ever.


Remarks by Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui
Remarks by City Manager Louis A. DePasquale
Remarks by Cambridge Peace Commission Director Brian Corr
Remarks by Cambridge Police Superintendent Christine Elow

 

Page was posted on 6/4/2020 8:47 AM
Page was last modified on 6/4/2020 8:49 AM
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