Prayer event in Charlottesville to begin nine-day Walk the Walk pilgrimage

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Leaders, clergy and community members with Faith in Action, the nation’s largest grassroots faith-based organizing network, will begin Walk the Walk 2020, a nine-day Faith Pilgrimage of Racial Reckoning, Resolve, and Love, with an assemblage at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Charlottesville on Thursday.

The group, which includes supporters from Congregation Action Network, Faith in Action’s campaign dedicated to immigration work in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, and other partners, will hold a prayer meeting with Maria Chavalan Sut, an Indigenous Guatemalan woman who came to the United States in 2015 seeking asylum. She has been in sanctuary now for two years to avoid deportation. The church is located at 1901 Thomson Road in Charlottesville.

During the meeting, leaders will call out our immigration system as an expression of racial injustice rooted in xenophobia and anti-Blackness, and demand liberation for Maria Chavalan Sut, others in sanctuary, and all immigrants so that they can live with dignity and justice.

Additional speakers include Rev. Phil Woodson with Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church; Rev. Cindy Lapp and Rev. Julio Hernandez, clergy leaders with Congregation Action Network; and Rosa Gutierrez Lopez, an immigrant leader with Congregation Action Network.

The walk has three goals:

  • to reckon with and apologize for personal and structural racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness actions and attitude.
  • to resolve moving racial justice forward in the missions of in our faith traditions and nation, through voting, organizing, and advocacy.
  • to reframe the faith narrative in this nation as we approach the 2020 election.

In June, Faith in Action released a public declaration on this topic that has garnered more than 1,700 signatures from the faith community.

Click here to read the declaration.

The walk will end on Friday, Aug. 28 in Washington, which marks the 57th anniversary of the famed March on Washington.

Those interested in participating can register at


  • Who: Faith in Action, Congregation Action Network, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, and fellow clergy, organizers, community leaders
  • What: Sanctuary Solidarity Prayer Event to kick off Walk the Walk 2020
  • When: Thursday, 8 a.m. ET
  • Where: Wesleyan Memorial United Methodist Church, 1901 Thomson Road, Charlottesville

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