On the evening of Friday, June 5, community activists will hold candlelight vigils in six cities across the Central Valley, covering the counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, and Madera.
A teen leader of the local Black Lives Matter movement will lead the vigil at 8 p.m. in front of Tracy City Hall, while representatives from the Tracy African American Association, Teamsters Local 439, Sikhs for Humanity, and the Tracy City Council will show solidarity. Together, all attendees will listen to speeches from Black activists and their allies, as well as participate in a moment of silence to honor victims of police brutality across the United States. Overall, the event shall be a time to peacefully reflect, heal, and understand the moment we as a city, county, and nation are in.
Sekou Millington, the first Black Chief of the Tracy Police Department, will likely be in attendance, not to speak, but to hear and respect the experiences of Tracy’s Black community.
Meanwhile, at 7:30 p.m., the Manteca and Lathrop communities will join together at their own Candlelight Vigil in front of Manteca’s City Hall. Simultaneously, there will be similar Vigils at the City Halls of Modesto, Turlock, Merced, and Madera.
Hopefully, after a week of passionate protests and generations of long-repressed pain, all six Candlelight Vigils will bring the Central Valley closer to achieving the reconciliation, recovery, and reform that our communities so desperately deserve and need.