ROANOKE, Va. – Two separate peaceful demonstrations brought people from all over the Roanoke Valley together on Saturday, standing in solidarity in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.
Hands were held high in prayer and voices harmonized together in song.
Hundreds gathered in downtown Roanoke on Saturday afternoon to pray for peace, justice and unity. The group marched from the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial to First Baptist Church-Gainsboro to hear from religious leaders from across the Star City.
Candace Dowell, an associate minister at Shiloh Baptist Church in Salem, said it’s empowering to see everyone put aside their differences.
“Just to see people come together and love one another of every race, every color, every creed. This is amazing," said Dowell.
Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman even took the podium.
“Today I am calling you out. I am calling you out as a bystander to help break the back of racism,” said Roman.
Back at the memorial, another prayer vigil was held at 6 p.m. and brought together more than 100 other locals.