We need heart, wisdom, and leadership. Blessed are the peacemakers.

Photo by Leni Kei Williams

Blessed are the peacemakers. What we’ve seen erupting across U.S. Cities, we can acknowledge that we need an anchor of peace, restoration and unity. We need heart, wisdom, leadership, and justice.

We stand with every broken heart over George Floyd’s death. And we recognize all victims of race crimes and advocate for them to be seen, heard, and protected.

While what is happening with the riots is an outcry and it is justified anger, it’s also the wake up call that we need a message of respect and love.

As we witnessed the destruction surrounding riots city to city, we came across this photo of a police officer and citizen shaking hands during a peaceful Flint protest. The handshake alone is a symbol of peace and even of the pandemic healing. We reached out to photographer Leni Kei Williams and asked her what was going through her mind during this moment.

“In light of the recent events and all the negativity we’ve seen on the news, I was unsure of how the Flint protest would unfold, but my husband and I still grabbed our cameras and walked along. As the evening continued, seeing a community who has seen so much hardship and pain come together to show leadership, unity, and strength regardless of religion, age, and the race was such a humbling experience. There was such peace and a feeling of hope in the air, and when the police department took their helmets off and dropped their batons when asked to join in March, they responded, “let’s go! We can walk all night!” This was history. I felt it.

This was the example. Leaders facing leaders, coming together in peace. Do I think we still have a long way to go? Definitely. Do I believe this has solved the issue between police and unarmed black human beings? No. But I do believe that this type of leadership is a positive step in the right direction and gives me hope for black men and women around the world and all of humanity.”

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