Faith Leaders To Hold Prayer Vigil In Solidarity With Ferguson

ORLANDO – Faith in Florida leaders and Freedom Hall Church of the Living God are holding a prayer vigil tonight to stand in solidarity with clergy and youth in Ferguson, Missouri, who will be marching to demand justice for Michael Brown.


“I am doing this because from experience, I have seen people talking and not doing. So if I don’t, then who will?” said Norman Wilson, Senior Pastor of Freedom Hall Church of the Living God in Orlando. “We are standing with the community to demand justice and make sure all of our children are able to live free from violence and from fear of the very people sworn to protect them.”


Marchers in Ferguson and across the country are seeking an expedited Grand Jury hearing to indict Officer Darren Wilson; the arrest of Wilson; a special prosecutor for the case; and a thorough investigation into the continued racial profiling reported by the NAACP in St. Louis County in the past year.


WHAT: Prayer vigil to stand in solidarity with clergy and youth in Ferguson, Missouri, who will be marching to demand justice for Michael Brown.


WHO: Faith in Florida leaders and Freedom Hall Church of the Living God, people of faith, and concerned citizens


WHERE: 7810 Albania Avenue, Orlando, FL 32810


WHEN: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


Representatives of Faith in Florida and the PICO National Network Live Free campaign are available for interview. Please contact LaShanna Tyson at ltyson@faithinflorida.orgor (407) 782-2875 to schedule an interview.



The mission of Faith in Florida is to ensure that Florida public policy represents the interests of low-income, working-class families and communities of color and creates equal opportunity for all.  With active organizing hubs in South, Central and North Florida, Faith in Florida engages 90 congregations and provides a nonpartisan, prophetic, interfaith voice on rights restoration, immigration and healthcare expansion.

Civil Rights Organization Condemns Escalated Police Militarization and Martial Law in Ferguson, Urges President and DOJ to Take Immediate Action

Ferguson, MO–Today, as national guard troops are mobilized and martial law is declared in Ferguson, Missouri, condemns these tactics and urges Attorney General Holder and President Obama to take definitive action to end militarized policing, ensure the proper allocation of federal resources to protect Ferguson residents, and secure immediate justice in the Michael Brown shooting.

The following statement was released by Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of

“Over the weekend,  Ferguson residents experienced some of the worst police violence of this past week, marked by tear gas, unlawful arrests, and widespread abuse of peaceful protestors. This type of misconduct and racially motivated police violence is completely unacceptable. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have taken important steps in response to the tragic police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, but state and local police continue to prove incapable of protecting civil rights. We need definitive federal intervention to stop this course of action and fully confront the devastating militarized police tactics in Ferguson and other communities of color.

 “I stand with more than 125,000 ColorOfChange members–Black folks and their allies of every race–who are calling on The President and Attorney General Holder to hold officer Wilson fully accountability for killing Michael Brown and end the escalating police militarization in Ferguson. Gov. Nixon’s decision to enforce Martial Law and bring in the national guard is not the answer, and has the potential to increase police violence against Black Missourians. What we need is increased federal oversight, federal marshals with a clear mandate to peacefully protect civil rights. Our federal government must provide the leadership and resources needed for setting a higher standard of policing and ensuring justice for Michael’s family.

“These violent tactics are used during times of war and have no place in law enforcement.  Governor Nixon, Missouri police and local law enforcement are treating Black folks like enemy combatants and turning Ferguson into a battlefield. Unfortunately, this type of militarization has been the case for too long, fueled by the Department of Defense, which promotes the use of military techniques and provides police with weapons intended for war. Black communities across the country remain under siege as a result of high powered, racially prejudiced law enforcement that criminalize, harm, and kill with no repercussion.”

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Nan Rich Casts Ballot at Early Vote Location

Weston, FL— Accompanied by supporters and her three grandchildren, Democratic candidate for governor Nan Rich cast her ballot in the Florida Democratic Primary today.

“My grandchildren are with me today and I must say that I couldn’t be prouder of each of them. They have all been educated in Broward public schools and they are among the reasons why, during my legislative service, improving education and increasing teacher pay were always priorities for me. As governor, those will be my top priorities.”

“Campaigning across Florida I’ve met thousands of parents and grandparents who share my concerns for Florida’s future. But I believe that they, as well as a majority of Floridians, also share my vision for getting Florida back on the right track. I sincerely hope many of them will take advantage of early voting in their communities.”

Orange County Unites for 2014 Summer of Service

From left, back row: Jennifer Gallagher, Veronica Rivera, Bianca Brewer, Kelsey Millman, Tiffany Lo and Tabitha Wood. From left, bottom row: Generra George, Ashley Cunningham, Alexis Keirsted, Miguel Romero volunteered for the Fixin’ Up the Neighborhood project.

In support of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ Summer of Service initiative, local citizens worked together and volunteered in the program’s cleanup and community improvement events continuing the tradition of Orange County’s “neighbors helping neighbors” philosophy.

“Working side by side with our neighbors is core to what Orange County stands for,” said Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “Through Summer of Service, we’ve helped hundreds of neighbors on our way to making Orange County the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

The initiative, which is now in its third year, began on the first day of summer and connected citizens with Orange County Government and its partner agencies in 19 volunteer events. Since its inception, more than 850 volunteers have participated in the initiative. This summer alone, more than 400 volunteers participated in “Fixin’ Up the Neighborhood,” an annual project that focused this year on the Washington Shores community. Sponsored by the Orange County Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization Division, it assists qualifying residents with home repairs and improvements.

“I truly appreciate the work of the volunteers,” said resident Bobby Watson. “I’ve lived in Washington Shores for 25 years and it warms my heart that someone would care to take the time to help our neighborhood out.”

Watson’s home was pressure washed, primed and painted a light green color. A group of volunteers spent a weekend working on his home, as well as others in the community. Fixin’ Up the Neighborhood (formerly “Paint the Town”) began in 2003 and is made possible by a grant program. Orange County residents apply for the program with priority given to seniors and the disabled.

“This program gives the community a face-lift and it usually causes the other neighbors to take pride in their homes,” said Tabitha Wood, coordinator of Fixin’ Up the Neighborhood. “It puts a smile on my face to help the residents who are unable to get their homes painted due to being on a fixed income or being a widow or widower. Of course, none of this would be possible without our volunteers.”

Other 2014 Summer of Service events included storm drain labeling, restocking food pantries, and assisting the homeless moving to a new shelter.

Service opportunities were provided by Orange County partner agencies including the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, Adult Literacy League, Seniors First, Inc. and Volunteers for Community Impact.

For more information on Mayor Jacobs Summer of Service please visit the Summer of Services page.

A collection of photos from the Fixin’ Up the Neighborhood event are available on Flickr for use by the media. (Source:

Marc H. Morial: National Urban League Statement Regarding Developments in Ferguson, MO

National Urban League President Marc H. Morial today issued the following statement responding to recent developments in Ferguson, MO.

The death of Michael Brown has exposed and exacerbated what is clearly a long-standing lack of trust between law enforcement and the Ferguson community.

St. Louis County is not a war zone, and siege and combat tactics are no substitute for good community policing, and we commend Governor Jay Nixon for his decision to bring in the State Highway Patrol, led by Captain Ronald Johnson to secure the community and protect the constitutional right to peaceful protest.

We believe state and local elected officials—including law enforcement officials—should take this opportunity to engage directly with citizens and community-based organization on the underlying issues that led to this tragedy and begin the healing process. We look forward to supporting the work of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and its President and CEO Michael McMillan to foster this important dialogue.

Due process of our laws does not allow for the shooting of an unarmed individual, and the family of Michael Brown and the citizens of Ferguson deserve no less than a thorough examination of all the facts surrounding this tragic case and the police response. We fully support the calls for Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to take over this investigation to its conclusion and ensure the integrity and transparency the citizens expect. (

NAACP Statement on the Death of 18-Year-Old Michael Brown of Ferguson, MO

(Washington, DC) – The NAACP has released the following statement on the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, MO.

From Cornell William Brooks, President & CEO, NAACP:

“Our prayers go out to the family and friends of 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri. The death of yet another African-American at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve the community where he lived is heartbreaking. Michael Brown was preparing to begin college, and now his family is preparing to bury their child – his life cut short in a tragic encounter with the police.

As the NAACP’s Missouri State Conference and St. Louis Branches seek answers about the circumstances surrounding Michael Brown’s death, the National office will remain vigilant until accountability and justice are served for the countless individuals who lose their lives to misguided police practices throughout the country. Even as we call for accountability by those charged with protecting the community, we call on the community to act–collectively and calmly until we secure justice for the family of Michael Brown.” (