June 2015

Statement from CUL President on Charleston Church Shooting

Statement from Columbus Urban League President & CEO Stephanie Hightower on the fatal shooting of nine parishioners at an African American church in Charleston, SC.
June 18, 2015

“Though this tragic hate crime took place at a church more than 600 miles away, our hearts here in Central Ohio ache as if it happened in our own community. Our prayers and condolences go out to the families and congregation of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the oldest AME churches in the South.”

“Violence and hate have no place in a house of worship. In our black neighborhoods, our churches are a cornerstone of the community and beacons of faith and fellowship, where we come together to love and support each other. As the oldest urban family advocate in Central Ohio, the Columbus Urban League works hand in hand with our city’s African American churches to help all families achieve stability, overcome the challenges of poverty, and champion equality for all of God’s children.”

“This is the year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but this senseless shooting reminds us that we still have many more steps to go to bridge the divisiveness in some people’s hearts and minds. Let us never forget, as Doctor King said, that whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Today, we all stand with Charleston.”


Additional statement from CUL Board of Directors member Dr. Derek H. Anderson, Denominational Trustee & Former International RAYAC President for the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church:

“From Charleston to Columbus, we stand today together in prayer, with our thoughts and sympathies focused on those families who lost a son or daughter, husband or wife, a father or a mother. This senseless tragedy touches all of us throughout the national AME Church congregation.”

“In our grief, we ask the simple question, “Why?” We may never understand how the hate inside a man can grow so dark and cold as to lead to such violence. We can, however, open our hearts and minds to all who seek out His word and are willing to embrace our diverse community. At our houses of worship and at the Columbus Urban League, we will welcome all to join us, no matter who you are, where you come from, what religion you practice, or how much help you need.”

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