EAST STROUDSBURG UNIVERSITY -- Nearly one week after a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia erupted into deadly violence, people gathered in Monroe County to remember the young woman who was killed.
A candlelight vigil was held at East Stroudsburg University this evening.
The gathering for the candlelight vigil may have been small but the purpose was mighty.
Folks sang hymns on the campus of East Stroudsburg University, calling for love, peace and unity in the wake of the deadly violence during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last Saturday.
The effort was organized by Joe Sudano who runs the Catholic Campus Ministry at ESU.
“It’s really a responsibility of all the children of God, whether you identify as a Christian or not, to respond to that in a way that Jesus Christ would, never, ever with violence, never, ever with more hatred but just with prayer and unity,” said Sudano.
That violence broke out as a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters who opposed a rally hosted by white nationals.
19 people were injured and Heather Heyer was killed; this vigil was to remember her.
Brandon Teel is a member of the university's Black Student Union.
“People feel more comfortable expressing their hate and that`s a problem, so I believe that we need to find a way to come together and erase hate with love,” said Teel.
Students here say this is their chance to take a stand against the violence and hatred they saw in Charlottesville and to pray that it won`t happen again.
“Hearing things that are going on, deciding that it`s time to step up and do something about it instead of staying in my room all day,” said graduate student Rafael Cordero. “You know when you`re on campus you have an opportunity to make your voice heard and I want to make my voice heard.”
Next week, Bloomsburg University is planning an event in response to the Charlottesville, Va. Violence.
Here is the information for that event in Columbia County:
Bloomsburg University Holding “Standing Up Against Bigotry and Hate” Event
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Coalition for Social Equity is hosting an interactive session called “Standing Up Against Bigotry and Hate” on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. at the Greenly Center, 50 East Main Street, Bloomsburg. The event is free and open to the public.
In response to the events that took place in Charlottesville, Va., the session will give participants an opportunity to further their understanding of prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and oppression and how to stand up against all forms of social injustice.
For more information contact Malik Muhammad, coordinator of Sexual and Gender Diversity at BU, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-389-3933.