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CAN Sponsors Walk-the-Walk Solidarity Rallies in Virginia and DC

The Walk launched in Charlottesville on Thursday, Aug. 20 with a solidarity prayer event at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. The event focused on the racist immigration policies that have led to scores of immigrants across the country taking sanctuary in faith communities. Maria Cavalan Sut, who has lived in sanctuary at Wesleyan Memorial United Methodist Church in Charlottesville for 2 years, led the event with prayers for the children sacrificed as violence and genocide overtook Indigenous communities in Guatemala. 

Maria Chavalan Sut (left), an immigrant leader with Congregation Action Network, gives a speech as Rev. Julio Hernandez (right), clergy leader with Congregation Action Network, interprets. [ERIN EDGERTON/THE DAILY PROGRESS]

After the prayer event, about two dozen clergy from various faith traditions launched their pilgrimage to Washington, DC. Heat and humidity challenged the walkers for 9 days as they called for atonement for individual and institutional racism, white supremacy and anti-Blackness - including in our religious institutions.

Walkers arrived in Alexandria on Thursday., Aug. 27 for a 2 p.m. Walk the Walk Solidarity Rally at the African American Heritage Park. The clergy walkers were cheered on and speakers focused on Alexandria's history of racism and what white religious traditions must do to reckon with and repent of racism.

The following day, the pilgrims marched into Washington for a prayer rally at Black Lives Matter Plaza in front of St. John's Church.

All four CAN Clusters--from NoVA, DC, PG County and Montgomery County, were grateful to join the final leg of #WalktheWalk2020 yesterday from Alexandria to Washington, D.C.-culminating in a welcome service at Black Lives Matter plaza. Kudos to Pastors Julio Hernandez and Cindy Lapp, and CAN organizer Omar Angel Perez, who anchored the planning. Thanks, too, for the partners from every cluster, and for the DC Hospitality Team who offered refreshing water and snacks--with special appreciation to Luther Place for providing so many supplies!!

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