Calling themselves "justice warriors," members
of the Greater Hartford Coalition for Equity and Justice marked
their third annual covenant celebration Monday with choirs, liturgical
dance and speeches intended to energize members to continue their
"We are people of various faiths, communities united for
the common good, diverse people who are passionate about justice," the
Rev. Persida Rivera-Mendez, of Iglesia Christana Nuevo Esperanza
of East Hartford, told an audience of more than 100 at the Metropolitan
AME Zion Church in Hartford. "We need to stand united in
courage so that justice can be obtained."
The coalition represents 40 city and suburban congregations.
It was formed to address issues such as the lack of affordable
health care and education, tax equity and economic justice.
Coalition task forces will tackle issues such as immigration,
health care and tax equity during meetings that will be held
in area churches in February and March.
Member churches include Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford,
First Church of Christ, Simsbury, Hartford Quaker Meeting, Unitarian-
Universalist Society and others. The Rev. Alvan N. Johnson Jr.,
of Bethel AME Church in Bloomfield, is chairman of the coalition.
Mayor Eddie Perez and the Most Rev. Peter Rosazza of the Archdiocese
of Hartford were among the speakers. Rosazza, who has been working
to abolish the death penalty, received a round of applause from
the group for his efforts.
He said that Catholic churches had collected 38,000 signatures
on petitions that will be presented to the legislature.
Perez thanked the coalition for its efforts, which he said had
helped pry loose more money for schools and early childhood educational
"I'm also here to be re-energized by people who care about
justice," the mayor said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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