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Gainesville candlelight vigil to remember those who died from 'racial acts of hatred'
06022020 RALLY 2.jpg
Hundreds gather Monday, June 1, 2020, during the Newtown Florist Club rally in Gainesville in reaction to the death of George Floyd and the issues of police brutality and systemic racism. Rose Johnson, Newtown’s executive director, said the gathering will be “a more meaningful discussion” of next steps following the protests. - photo by Scott Rogers

The Newtown Florist Club, a Gainesville civil rights group, is calling upon community members to attend a candlelight vigil at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 6, on the patch of greenspace at the end of the pedestrian bridge on Jesse Jewell Parkway.

Jackie Lipscomb, who is leading the event, said the observance is “taking a stand for justice and pursuit of peace, and remembering those who lost their lives through racial acts of hatred.”

The Rev. Rose Johnson, executive director of the Newtown Florist Club, said the vigil will open with community members sharing why this moment in history is important to them, whether through words or song. 

The next portion will offer teachable moments about the history of the civil rights legacy.

“We have a real opportunity to connect the past to the present and give our entire community a chance to participate in a moment of change,” Johnson said. “And connect with the nation and the world in the spirit of unity.”

Candles will then be lit as people transition into the “remembering segment,” which includes calling out the names of people who have died from racial acts of hatred.

“This is a moment of change in America, and across the nation that everyone, all people of good will, can participate in to make a change happen in America,” Johnson said. “This call for justice, when it comes to men and women who were murdered through acts of police violence, that justice for them will hopefully prevail. We have to keep pushing for change.”

People interested in civic participation arising from the recent protests can call the Newtown Florist Club at 770-718-1343 or email newtown193@gmail.com.

Gainesville candlelight vigil

What: Observance to remember those who died from racial acts of hatred

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 6

Where: The end of the pedestrian bridge on Jesse Jewell Parkway

More info: Call Newtown Florist Club at 770-718-1343

Regional events