Local leaders rally on one week anniversary of Charleston tragedy

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Wednesday marked the one week anniversary of the tragic shootings at a church in Charleston, South Carolina that left nine members, including the church’s pastor, dead. The pain from the tragic event still resonates in Charleston, and here in Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, political and religious leaders from around the state gathered in Rosa Parks Circle to mourn and call for change. Among those in attendance, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, a slew of city commissioners, and State Representative Brandon Dillon.

““We will use this demonic act of cowardice to strengthen the national will to end, once and for all time, the sin of racism,” said Mayor Heartwell, addressing a gathered crowd of several hundred. “On that awful day we were all Charleston. We felt the same anguish the same anger the same powerlessness.”

The rally coincided with the Michigan Annual Conference, an event meant to bring together religious leaders from across the state.

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