News Details

County calls to start to heal school racism incidents – Unity Prayer Service will be held

For Immediate Release: November 17, 2017
Contact:  Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger (856-853-3395) or
Freeholder Jim Jefferson (856-853-3384) 

County calls to start to heal school racism incidents – Unity Prayer Service will be held 

(West Deptford, Twp., NJ) – In response to several recent racist incidents that have taken place in local schools, Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger and Freeholder Jim Jefferson announced today that on Monday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. several pastors from the community will hold a Unity Prayer Service at Southwood Baptist Church in West Deptford.

Freeholder Director Damminger said, "It is our job as elected officials, parents and human beings to speak up and speak out and defy racism. It is our job to make sure that our neighbors know they live in a safe and accepting community regardless of the color of their skin, ethnicity, the God to whom they pray or who they love. I am proud of my colleague for organizing this event and moving in a positive direction to begin to address the recent events in our schools." 

Freeholder Jim Jefferson, who is a member of Hope Christian Fellowship Church, has reached out to several pastors and coordinated the Unity Prayer Service as a means of beginning the Thanksgiving season in an atmosphere of peace and to show that a united community can help promote tolerance.  

Jefferson said, “I feel compelled to act and it is my goal to bring people together in the spirit of unity.  It is time to come together to show that hate has no room in Gloucester County, and hopefully this prayer service will serve as a step in the effort to lead us there.” 

“I am an elected official and I am a faithful man, but most importantly, I am a father.  It is our job to know that our children are watching and the next step is up to us. Silence is equal to complicity and that is not acceptable,” said Jefferson. “We must stand together in unity to speak out against racism and show that respect, equality, love, compassion, tolerance and kindness will help to heal.”

Jefferson said that in addition to himself, participants in the Unity Prayer Service will include Dr. King of Living Word Bible Fellowship Church, Pastor Mark Ott of Hope Christian Fellowship Church, Pastor Joe Lightfoot of Southwood Baptist Church, and Pastor Cuff of Campbell AME Church.  Members of their congregations have been invited.