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Geneva Community Members Rally in Solidarity with Charlottesville

Kelly Walker
Finger Lakes Public Radio

Nationwide rallies in support of Charlottesville included a gathering Sunday in the City of Geneva. Community members largely filled the seating in Bicentennial Park and listened to speakers condemn the violent gathering of Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists in Virginia. City Council Member at Large Mark Gramling cautioned against complacency on a local level.

“Supremacy lives even in this community. Think about that. Even in this community, it’s everywhere we go. Until we see a completely diverse workforce, Until we see people of color in positions of power, until we see equal justice for all, supremacy will remain.”

While most of the speakers represented local activist groups there were a few other local officials in attendance including Ontario County Board of Supervisors members Dom Vedora and Lou Guard who was recently appointed to serve out the term in District 2.

“I think it was important for me to attend because holding public office is a privilege. It’s a privilege to represent people in government and to be out here and to be active. There was some good representation from other folks here, Mark Gramling, President Vincent from Hobart and William Smith. I think it’s just important that we take these jobs seriously.”

A consistent message from the speakers was to get involved and to take action. The Reverend Donald Golden is the pastor of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.

“You can sit here at this rally and holler and scream, but if you go home and then you don’t do anything and think that just because you showed up at a rally you’ve done something, you’re lying to yourself.”

The Solidarity with Charlottesville rally was organized in less than 24-hours by members of the Geneva Women’s Assembly, the We Exist Coalition of the Finger Lakes, and Reed’s Last Term.

Kelly Walker started his public radio career at WBAA in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1985 and has spent some time in just about every role public broadcasting has to offer. He has spent substantive time in programming and development at KWMU in St. Louis, WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana, and Troy Public Radio in Alabama before his arrival in Geneva, New York. In addition, his work has been heard on many other public radio stations as well as NPR. Kelly also produces The Sundilla Radio Hour, which airs Sundays at 1 p.m. on Finger Lakes Public Radio and is distributed to public radio stations all over the country through PRX.
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