The Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel Invites You To Join NYTS for the Justice for All March on Washington
I’m writing to invite you to join me and the students of NYTS on the Freedom Bus to the Justice for All March on Washington. Bright and early on Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m., we will gather to board the Freedom Bus that will depart from the Interchurch Center (61 Claremont Avenue on the corner of West 120th Street).
Inspired by the 40th Anniversary March on Washington on August 27, 2013 where I was able to march with Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Mike Walrond, Rev. Que English and Mayor Bill de Blasio to advocate for racial and economic justice, I am excited to join NYC faith leaders this weekend as we journey to join the Justice for All March on Washington led by Rev. Sharpton. We are calling on President Obama to establish a Federal Prosecutor with the power to investigate and prosecute killings of unarmed civilians by law enforcement officials, complementing the investigations in states and municipalities.
Given the fires of Ferguson and growing faith-rooted police reform movement in NYC this is a critical moment in our city and let’s lift up the color purple in a prophetic womanist NYTS witness for justice. As our black and brown sons are killed by white police officers, it’s time for us to stand with mothers of color who are leading this movement for real police reform.
I was baptized into the NYC struggle last Wednesday. While drinking coffee with a friend close to Union Square the day that the #EricGarner Verdict dropped, we received a text that folks were gathering in Union Square for a protest. We ran over together, passing police cars and buses from the Department of Corrections. When we hit the square there were only about 80 people, but within a half an hour the crowd got to about 300. After a speak out where we all got to share our hearts that were grieving for Eric Garner, a Son of City, choked by five police men, we translated our anger into love in action and marched. We tried to take Rockefeller Center where they were lighting the Christmas Tree, but the police line blocked us, so we headed West and down the West Side High Way.
After the Wednesday March, Rev. Chloe Breyer and Linda Sarsour, Co-Chairs of the Community Safety Team of the Micah Faith Table immediately mobilized and led a clergy delegation to City Hall last Monday December 8th for a prayerful protest where we presented a Pastoral Letter to the Mayor, Public Advocate, and Speaker and members of the City Council asking for real police reform and a restoration of our broken criminal justice system. Check out this article on Clergy Take Part in Die In at City Hall that details Micah’s roll. There was also a thoughtful Huff Post Article. Our faith-rooted Die In in the Rotunda at City Hall was the front page photo in Tuesday’s New York Times.
If you would like to join us, please call New York Theological Seminary at 212-870-1211 to reserve a seat. There is a $60 Round Trip Fee which includes a travel bag, snacks and a purple scarf. The bus is filling up quickly, so please call to reserve a seat. Brew the coffee, wake up and let’s roll for love and justice.
The Rev. Dr. Peter G. Heltzel
Associate Professor of Theology
New York Theological Seminary
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 500 New York NY 10115
NYTS joins these partners on the Justice for All March:
Phillip Randolph Institute
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME)
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AME Zion)
American Federation Of Teachers (AFT)
Bend The Arc| A Jewish Partnership For Justice
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME)
Church Of God In Christ (COGIC)
Fordham University School Of Law
Hip Hop Caucus
Improved Benevolent And Protective Order Of Elks Of The World
Jack And Jill
League Of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
National Baptist Convention USA Inc.
National Coalition On Black Civic Participation
National Convocation Of The Christian Church (Disciples Of Christ)
National Evangelical Latino Coalition
National Newspaper Publishers Association
NAACP NY State Conference
Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
United Federation Of Teachers (UFT)