Dozens make their voices heard as racial tensions continue to rise over police-involved shootings.
Church leaders here in Toledo held a “Black Lives Matter” rally on Christmas Eve. Up to three dozen supporters came out to Bethlehem Baptist Church.
It was a peaceful rally calling for an end to violence.
Even in the dark and rain, community activists made it known that “Black Lives Matter”.
Many are calling for change.
This comes as racial tensions continue to grow nationwide.
“I just believe that the real reason this has not died down, why it’s escalating is because god is saying we need to change,” said Dawn Chong, one of the rally organizers.
Inside the church, several folks held a die-in demonstration to signify police violence towards black men.
Pastor Derek Arnold said holding this rally on Christmas Eve is important.
“It’s very significant with the birth of Christ and what we’re trying to do is integrate the fact that Christ was born and that he died for all and therefore we want to make sure that all lives matter,” said Pastor Arnold.
Those at the rally believe blacks are unfairly targeted by law enforcement officers.
“Racial profiling; that’s still going on today,” added Arnold.
Many supporters like Gail Hueston tell us it’s a subject families need to address with their kids.
“We have to have that talk that they have to know how to act with the police officers,” said Hueston. “They have to know what to do and you have to tell them.”
Supporters say awareness and dialogue is the first step towards change and community understanding.