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Faith Leaders Respond as Moral Voice on Confederate Monuments


August 23, 2017


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123

Joey McKinnon, jmckinnon@faithinpubliclife.org, (843)-364-4403 

Jacksonville Faith Leaders Respond as Moral Voice on Confederate Monuments

Jacksonville, Fla — On Tuesday, August 22nd, community leaders made emotional pleas during the public comment period of the Jacksonville City Council meeting on Confederate monument removal. Jacksonville faith leaders have spoken as a moral voice to support the removal of these monuments.

Rev. Phillip Baber, Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville:

“City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche has demonstrated bold and courageous leadership by calling for the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces in our city. The vision of ‘One City, One Jax’ cannot be achieved when nearly a third of our citizens are daily confronted with symbols in the public square—sanctioned by the city of Jacksonville—that remind them of a time when the state viewed them as less than human. Ms. Brosche recognizes that it is indeed possible to honor our history and culture while at the same time removing a source of deep hurt and alienation for many of our residents. She is to be commended for recognizing that the city’s failure to act on this issue expeditiously will do nothing but prolong headache, heartache, and strife among all its citizens. 

Rev. Denise Hunt, Global Empowerment Ministries:

 “I support taking down all Confederate statues because they do not reflect the values of love and peace that I was taught and learned. They reflect white supremacy, a false ideology that continues a legacy of hate and division in our city. I deserve the right to live in a city that does not reflect the history of one demographic: white Southerners.”

Pastor Rachel Gunter Shapard, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida, Jacksonville:

“In the wake of the violence and hateful acts that occurred in Charlottesville, now more than ever we cannot remain still and silent. It is up to us to walk a path that leads to peace. It is up to us to engage in constructive conversations that deepen understanding and build relationships. It is up to us to find a way forward that does not demean anyone, instead lifting up all persons as worthy of value and respect. In the words of South African poet, June Jordan, ‘We are the ones we have been waiting for.’”


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