Metro-East News

August 12, 2014

Church groups to host public action meeting over Ferguson unrest

A public meeting will be held Thursday in East St. Louis in the wake of the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

"This is not your average town hall meeting," said Pastor Kendall Granger of the New Life Community Church in East St. Louis. "This meeting is about action."

The meeting is being hosted by the United Congregations of Metro-East and Gamaliel of Illinois, which is a network of grassroots, interfaith, interracial and multi-issue organizations working together to create a more just and more democratic society.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the New Life Community Church, 1919 State St., East St. Louis.

A key topic of discussion will be the recent shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black man who was shot to death Saturday in a scuffle with police.

"The unjust death of Michael Brown is a symptom of many issues plaguing our communities that needs to be addressed through systemic and long-term solutions," said the Rev. Charles Burton with Gamaliel of Illinois. "We have been hard at work at doing just that."

The meeting is being labeled as a "Fire of Faith" public action meeting, where infrastructure jobs, education funding as well as criminal justice will be on the agenda.

"This is not your average 'town hall meeting," said Granger, "this meeting is about action."

Public officials from the White House to the Statehouse, including Gov. Pat Quinn, have been invited. Leaders from Gamaliel organizations around the state are expected to attend.

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