Thursday, July 15, 2010

News Release: NCIC Stands in Solidarity in Protest of Arizona Law

Northern California Interreligious Conference
4335 Virginia Ave
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 536-6700  

FOR IMMEDIATE ReLEASE                                                 Media contact:
June 8, 2010                                                                               Jackie Wright, 415 525 0410 


NCIC Leaders Among California Black Clergy Stand
ground against Arizona’s discriminatory immigration law

Oakland- In the spirit of being vigilant for freedom and justice, Reverend Greggory Brown President of the Northern California Interreligious Conference and Reverend Phil Lawson, Vice President of the Northern California Interreligious Conference were among Black clergy that embarked on a four-day solidarity mission.  The mission included a march with the Latino community in solidarity to the steps of the Arizona State Capitol in protest of the Arizona law SB 1070.
Reverend Brown (4th from left) Marches in to Protest Arizona Law SB 1070

Pastor of Miracles of Faith Church and President of the Northern California Interreligious Conference, Reverend Greggory Brown, a Civil Rights Movement veteran, known for his recent protest in the Bay Area of police treatment of Black males, was among the first clergy to speak out in the death of Oscar Grant who was shot by a BART police officer and with his church Miracles of Faith led a march in protest of the police leaving Brandon Morris’ slain body in the streets of Oakland for five hours.  Reverend Brown says it’s important to remain vigilant,  “‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ Dr. King warned.  It was our moral imperative to go to Arizona and speak the truth.  The legal threat to freedom by SB1070 has an impact on every American citizen.  I continue to stand in solidarity with my brethren to say SB 1070 is unjust and could lead to repression for all.” 
Black Clergy, Pastors Brian Woodson, Phil Lawson and 
Greggory Brown Show Support in Arizona.

Rev. Phil Lawson, Founder, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Interfaith Program Coordinator, East Bay Housing Organizations, Oakland, CA, Vice President, Northern California Interreligious Conference said of the historic social justice action held the last weekend in May,  “SB1070 creates a mandate for harassment and abuse that not only will make communities less safe, but also harkens back to the worst times in our nation’s history. This law targets Latinos, but who will be next? The same legislature that passed SB1070 also passed a law requiring President Obama to show his birth certificate to be on the ballot in 2012; and we cannot forget that Arizona long refused to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I firmly believe the Black and Latino quest for liberty and justice is one, and that’s why, just as we rode to the south so many decades ago, I was compelled to go to Arizona.”

Other Bay Area leaders that were part of the contingent include: Pastor Brian K. Woodson, Bay Area Christian Connection; Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, Oakland, CA;Rev. Jethroe Moore, President, San Jose/Silicon Valley Chapter, NAACP Elizabeth Maldonado, Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, San Diego, CA and Gerald Lenoir, Executive Director, Black Alliance for a Just Immigration, Oakland, CA.

Pastor Brian Woodson added: “In Arizona there are forces trying to turn the clock back to the 1950s, back to a shameful era when our community’s basic rights were constantly violated. I went to Arizona to push the clock forward, and my inspiration comes right from the Gospel. As Jesus taught us: ‘whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, that you do for me.’ We need real solutions that lift our communities up together and help make the promise of America a reality for everyone who lives here.”
The Bay Area Black clergy worked with the following key Arizona organizers: Rev. Warren Stewart, Pastor, First Institutional Baptist Church, Phoenix, AZ;Mary Rose Wilcox, Maricopa County Supervisor, Fifth District; Carlos Garcia, Organizer, Puente Arizona.

For more information about the work of the Northern California Interreligious Conference, a multicultural organization, visit or call
(510) 536-6700.

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