Monday, February 13, 2012

NCIC Calls for Occupy Peace

Northern California Interreligious Conference
4335 Virginia Avenue
Oakland, CA  94619

For Immediate Release                                                           
January 29, 2012  

Jackie Wright
415 525 0410


Mayor Jean Quan invited to join the “Peace and Economic Justice Rally” followed by program with San Francisco Bay Area Rainbow P.U.S.H Director, Rev. Dr. Joseph Bryant Jr. honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Affirming Haiti.

Oakland, CA- Northern California Interreligious Conference (NCIC) held” Peace and Economic Justice Rally” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today in wake of “Occupy” protests to bring attention to the need for economic justice and peace as Oakland has experienced the “New Year” with a rash of deadly shootings. The Sixth Annual Miracles of Music Jazz/Gospel Festival-The Man, "The Mission, The Music" in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the backdrop for the rally.

KCBS Radio, NBC 11 and ABC 7 News covered the event.

Organizers say the “Peace & Economic Justice Rally” was held at the 3100 Block of High Street and concluded with a program of inspirational music including a keynote address by Reverend Dr. Joseph Bryant Jr., Director of San Francisco Bay Area P.U.S.H. and Senior Pastor of Calvary Hill Community Church in San Francisco.

“We invited Mayor Quan to join us at the rally (she was unable to attend); “The economic conditions and the level of violence in Oakland must be given attention by the highest authorities and that includes clergy,” said Reverend Greggory L. Brown, President of the Northern California Interreligious Conference Board of Directors and Senior Pastor of Oakland’s Miracles of Faith Church in the High Street Area. 

“We remind everyone that it was Jesus Christ, who said ‘Occupy Till I Return’ and we call upon religious leaders to take the frontlines.   As “the Occupy” protests erupted again in Oakland, and just as we made a call to leaders last Veteran’s Day to come to the forefront of these efforts, we must call on our spiritual power to address the needs of us, the 99% and face down the violence that has unnecessarily taken too many lives.   We can’t forget the spiritual needs of the 1%.  We can’t give up.  We must speak out and take action for social and economic justice just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did, one of his last acts before he was murdered for standing with the then 99%-garbage collectors in Memphis- and for protesting the Viet Nam War, ” added Brown.

The occasion of The Sixth Annual Miracles of Music Jazz/Gospel Festival-The Man, "The Mission, The Music" in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organizers said posed an interesting dichotomy; on one hand the group brought attention to the hard realities of the deaths by violence in Oakland, the economic disparities and a reminder to support Haiti is still suffering from the ravages of its massive earthquake January 12, 2010 and other the other hand, it was a time of inspiration as unique Jazz and gospel artists performed to uplift spirits.

“We were honored to have our musicians and singers on hand as the arts are key to inspiration and helping craft an atmosphere for change,” said Brown.  “I believe it was of great spiritual significance that the right hand man in the Bay Area for one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s protégés was our keynote speaker, Dr. Joseph Bryant Jr. Director of Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow P.U.S.H.  We tapped into Dr. King’s spirit of service.”

In addition to the rally in the 3100 Block of High Street, the Jazz and Gospel Program provided a forum for community leaders to be honored for their unsung service to Oakland. Special honorees were Pastor Brondon and Maria Reems, Mr. Walter Riley, Ms. Donna Murphy, and Mr. Tabe Gipson.

Musical performances included Ricardo Scales, Rob Collier, Cynthia Carter-Hill, Center of Hope Praise Singers and Shaila Head. 

For more information contact Reverend Greggory L. Brown at 510 536-3700.