Two Princeton Theological Seminary student groups are planning a march to be held Monday, Dec. 8 to protest the recent failure of grand juries to return indictments in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
The Association of Black Seminarians and the Community Action Network will lead a protest beginning at 12:30 p.m. on the school’s main quad. From there they will proceed downtown to the intersection of Nassau Street and University Place. Members of the local community are welcome to participate.
Jacqueline Nelson, a Princeton Seminary student and moderator of the Association of Black Seminarians, has called for a time of prayer and action.
“Our faith compels us to declare that all lives have value,” Nelson said. “Regardless of our background, color and social status, we as a church must stand on the side of justice for all and proclaim that enough is enough. We will no longer tolerate racist and oppressive systems.”
Princeton Theological Seminary President Craig Barnes has announced that he will participate in the student-led protest.
“The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere have brought great pain, sorrow, and frustration to our community, and many of our students are seeking a constructive way to make their voices heard,” Barnes said. “I want to show my solidarity with them as they advocate for the changes in our society that are necessary to prevent these tragedies on our streets.”
Religious leaders across the country are calling for solidarity with blacks.
“African-American brothers and sisters, especially brothers, in this country are more likely to be arrested, more likely to be executed, more likely to be killed,” Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said in a statement hours after a grand jury announced it would not indict the New York City police officer who put Eric Garner into a fatal choke hold on Staten Island.
“It’s time for us in Christian churches to not just talk about the gospel but live out the gospel by tearing down these dividing walls not only by learning and listening to one another but also by standing up and speaking out for one another,” Moore said.
A “die-in” is also scheduled for the Quaker Bridge Mall at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. On Thursday more than 500 students, faculty and staff members staged a walk-out at Princeton University to protest against police brutality and racial discrimination.