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Kenosha Churches Come Together Thursday For Prayer Vigil

Maayan Silver
Attendees of the vigil prayed in an effort towards solidarity after the unrest in Kenosha.

A diverse group of Kenosha churches gathered for a prayer vigil Thursday night at Harbor Park in Kenosha’s downtown. The churches billed it as an expression of solidarity to pray for an end to the turmoil of recent days.

The unrest started after Kenosha police shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times on Sunday, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Protests ensued, and so did widespread arson and vandalism.

On Tuesday night, a group of men gathered in Kenosha, openly carrying guns, saying they were there to defend property. One of them, a 17-year-old from Antioch, Ill., allegedly opened fire, killing two protesters and injuring a third.

At the vigil, Kristi Wilson of Kenosha said her religious history is varied, and thought it would be important to attend the multi-denominational service.

“I think we need to actually recognize that our people of color need representation in their schools. They need representation in our leadership. They need to know that people who look like them and have shared their life experience are out there advocating for them. They need to know then also that their blanched white brothers and sisters are ready to stand with him as well and want to learn,” she said.

Brian Holt was in the neighborhood just walking by, and stumbled upon the vigil. He said it was great to see, and was comforting after the recent events. 

“You get scared after a while. After a while, seeing [police violence] so much you think that could be me. It hit so close to home now. You know, I mean, cause I live out here,” Holt said. “What do I tell my daughter? I'll listen to any answer anyone can give me. My daughter's mixed. I have a stepson that is mixed. What do I tell them?”

Barbara Crum came to the service from Lake Villa, Ill. She said, “I'm really concerned about the nation as a whole, we need prayer and we need God's blessing. That's the only thing that's gonna unify, He is the only one who will unify. We know so much is going on with COVID, peoples' under a whole lot of stress, a whole lot of things is going on, you know with everyone around the injustice, and so a lot of things are just spilling out and spilling over. It's been illuminated and so prayer's the only thing will work and when we realize that, then I think we'll be better."

Maayan is a WUWM news reporter.
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