United in Spirit, along with allied organizations, will hold a press conference on Friday, Oct. 30, calling for peace and civility in advance of the election.
“Our appeal is for civil discourse. We ask every person of goodwill to pursue conciliation rather than polarization. Let peace and civility come to the City of Portland,” say the organizers in a press release.
The media is invited to cover the 11 am program at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. Due to COVID restrictions, the public is asked to experience the event from televised and written coverage.
The groups' call for peace continues: “We fully acknowledge the peaceful protests calling for long overdue racial and social justice. We are deeply concerned about the divisiveness and potential for violence around the upcoming elections. Wherefore, United in Spirit, in conjunction with other community-based organizations and social justice advocates, issue a clarion call and appeal for peace and civility.”
Poet and author Pastor Emmett Wheatfall states, “There comes a time when people of goodwill, whether nationally or locally, must reach out to their fellow citizens. Now is that time.”
Jewish Federation of Greater Portland Community Relations Director Bob Horenstein adds, “In the case of a close or contested election as might happen on Nov. 3, we ask for patience and trust in the electoral process as we allow for every vote to be counted. We ask all Oregonians to set a standard of civil discourse and opposition to violence.”
United in Spirit is a Portland-based coalition reinvigorating the historically positive relationship between the African-American and Jewish communities. It includes the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, NAACP-Portland Chapter, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Dialogues Unlimited, LLC and Remember the Hope Christian Fellowship.
Allied organizations that have signed on to the call for civility are: Archdiocese of Portland, Chabad of Oregon, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-Portland Area, Congregation Kesser Israel, Congregation Neveh Shalom, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Episcopal Diocese of Oregon, Native American Youth and Family Center, Portland Kollel, Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church and West Alliance for Inclusive Community. Speakers from the JCRC, EMO, the Archdiocese, United in Spirit and other supporters will speak at the event.