MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tuesday morning, religious leaders from across Shelby County gathered outside Memphis City Hall to demand action from Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland to combat racism and police brutality.
Members of the Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope tied a charter of demands for change to the fence surrounding Memphis City Hall.
Leaders in the religious community say they are tired of waiting and they want change now.
“We are here for equity and justice for all,” said Pastor Rosalyn Nichols, of Freedoms Chapel Christian Church.
Religious leaders who are apart of MICAH were passionate Tuesday morning in demanding change in Memphis.
“My prayer for you is that you do not go back to church and get on your knees until you stand up and demand that we want change now,” said Dr. Stacy Spencer, president of MICAH.
After an eight-minute and 46 second moment of silence, the same amount of time a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck, MICAH leaders presented their Charter for Equality and Justice.
“This is the voice of people,” said Spencer. “Not from two or three people in the room but from thousands, 30,000 people in Memphis who say we want change now. We’re taping it to the gate.”
The charter, that MICAH leaders tied to the fence outside city hall, has four issues in which the group is demanding comprehensive action.
Those areas are:
- Police Accountability
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Addressing Systemic Inequity
- Corporate Responsibility
“All four of those things are equally as important they are like the walls of a home," said Nichols. “You cannot have a solid home if all of those walls are not addressed.”
“Taking that bold step to say this is what we believe, this is what we’re going to fight for,” said Janiece Lee, vice president of MICAH.
The chief communications officer for Strickland said in a statement:
MICAH leaders say they hope to have an extensive meeting with city leaders to discuss and implement change in their four areas of focus soon.