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In response to the shooting deaths in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas, Texas, The Peace Center of Bucks County will be joining community organizations for a vigil followed by a discussion on Tuesday, July 12 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the corner of Centre Avenue and State Street in Newtown Borough.
At the conclusion of the vigil, the group will walk to the Newtown Friends Meetinghouse on Court Street where it will hold a Listening Circle. The event is free and open to the public.
“The staff and board of The Peace Center deeply mourn the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the five police officers in Dallas, Texas – and all victims of senseless violence,” said Barbara Simmons, executive director of the Bucks County Peace Center, in a statement issued in response to the recent violence.
“We recognize this violence as being rooted in a long history of trauma, mistrust and systemic racism stemming from chattel slavery, colonialism, and Jim Crow laws. We cannot continue to put temporary bandages on this open and festering wound,” said Simmons. “We must urgently address this poisonous climate and transform the violence by building trust, justice and community in every way we can.
“Violence ultimately hurts all of us, and we each have a responsibility and a role in interrupting the cycle,” continued Simmons. “The first step in transforming some of the intense pain we are witnessing right now – pain which has gone ignored for far too long – is to listen to one another: to listen to our neighbor’s experience of pain, of discrimination, of fear. We must learn to love one another by first hearing one another, and attempt to realize how deeply interconnected we all are.
“At The Peace Center, we are moved to redouble our efforts in building safe, equitable communities for all people,” said Simmons. “We will continue to work to this end by teaching our young people how to identify and interrupt racism and discrimination, how to resolve conflicts peacefully, and how to take on the perspective of others in an empathetic way. We have seen the tragic fruits that the seeds of violence have borne to us; now we all must begin planting the seeds of peace”