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FRAMINGHAM – Ahmaud Arbery loved to jog.

Breanna Taylor was an Emergency Room Technician.

George Floyd was a father.

Each of them loved and was loved. Each brought gifts to offer our world.

The world is poorer because of their deaths.

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As people of faith who believe each person is precious, we grieve the senseless deaths of these three beloved human beings. Each of their deaths is a tragedy and an outrage. Together, they are part of a much-too-long line of killings of African-Americans by people in authority. Their deaths reveal the depth of racial injustice in our nation.

Protests have sprung up all over the country, the vast majority of them peaceful. The rage and distress highlight the deep distrust built up over centuries of injustice.

We as clergy and members of Framingham Interfaith Community Association join with other Framingham leaders and institutions in calling out this racism.

The people responsible for their deaths must be held accountable.

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We must address policies, practices, systems and deep-rooted prejudices that laid the groundwork for these killings to happen. We must do the hard personal work of examining our own hearts and our own assumptions.

We must do the hard communal work of learning from one another, building trust, and coming together to create a more just society.

This week, we have seen young people in our city take leadership, rganizing and carrying out powerful, peaceful protest, applauded by our mayor, protected by the Framingham police department. We honor their courage, and we seek to follow their lead.

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Knowing that actions speak louder than words, we commit ourselves to working for racial justice.

We commit ourselves to living out principles at the heart of each of our faith traditions: the dignity and worth of each human being, the recognition that we are all connected, the calling to ensure the well-being of the whole community.

We pledge to continue the journey of healing and justice, recognizing this is a arduous journey, one we must take together.

Rev. Deborah L. Clark, Edwards Church, UCC

Deacon Susan Lindberg Haley, Lutheran Church of Framingham

Yvonne M. Spicer, Mayor, City of Framingham

Bernard Reese, Pastor, Framingham Church of God in Christ

Deacon Lori Mills-Curran, Executive Director, Pro-Gente Connections

Pastor Gina Praino, Vineyard Metrowest Church

Hannah Woit, Senior Advisor for External Affairs, Office of Mayor, Framingham

Rev. Karen Nell Smith, Edwards Church, UCC

Father Don Pachuta, M.D., Community of St. Luke

Dr. Javier Cevallos, President, Framingham State University

Joseph Corazzini, Assistant Superintendent of Equity, Diversity and Community Development, Framingham Public Schools

Alaa M. Abusalah, Citizen Participation Officer, Office of the Mayor, Framingham

Rev. Gregory Morisse, The Plymouth Church in Framingham, UCC

Rev. William Tanner, The Plymouth Church in Framingham, UCC

Rev. Julie Carson, Rector, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Rabbi Allison Poirier, Temple Beth Sholom

Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris, Interim Minister, First Parish in Framingham

Pastor Michael L. Henry, Framingham Centre Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Rev. Dr. J. Anthony Lloyd, Greater Framingham Community Church

Rev. Dr. Frances Ann Bogle, Community Chaplaincy Council

Pastor Dorian Botsis, Faith Community Church, Framingham Campus

Rev. Heather Kattan, Pastor of Wesley & First United Methodist Churches

Rev. Liz Garrigan-Byerly, Associate Director, Metrowest Worker Center

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.