A small crowd gathered by Binkley Baptist Church Saturday at the edge of Highway 15-501, holding signs with anti-racist messages and names of police brutality victims.
Since George Floyd's murder in May of 2020, church members and members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Youth Council have held vigils to honor those who have lost their lives to police brutality. While initially held on a weekly schedule, vigils are now held on the fourth Saturday of every month.
Kendall Lytle, president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Youth Council, said the issue of racial injustice is important to both the church and the council. They hope to continue raising awareness about it.
“Our whole mission is to make people more aware of the issues people face in this community — more specifically Black and brown people," she said.
Wanting to connect the community, Binkley Baptist member Ginger Clifford and a group of her fellow churchgoers started hosting the weekly vigils.
Clifford said that, before Floyd's death, Binkley Baptist Church had primarily focused on immigration justice. But since May 2020, they have concentrated on educating members about racial injustice.
“We have done a lot to learn about racism and anti-racism,” said Stephanie Ford, minister of Christian formation at Binkley. “We have had to reconsider what it means to be a white Christian."
Although Ford said the church has experienced some pushback from other community members, such as the defacement of their banners advocating for justice, church members continue to show up for every vigil.
“Binkley is going to have ongoing conversations about race," Ford said.