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Section 14 leaders are hosting a Black History Month city-wide prayer vigil in Palm Springs

The survivors and supporters of Palm Springs Section 14 and a coalition of community organizations will come together for a Prayer Vigil at The Church of St. Paul in the Desert. This prayer vigil will be the cornerstone event of a citywide day of prayer in honor of Black History Month.

 A local choir sang songs that got the crowd clapping and standing in solidarity at the Black History Month Palm Springs City-Wide Prayer Vigil.

Spiritual leaders from various faith-based organizations prayed for the city and Section 14 families. "All over this country, the sad reality is that so much that is beautiful has been built at the expense of those who are other and marginalized and mistreated," says Reverend Doctor Frederick Douglass Haynes III. 

Section 14 is centered on one square mile of land next to downtown Palm Springs, which was cleared out for new development over 50 years ago.

Haynes is a visiting pastor from Dallas. He shared a message that the city of Palm Springs can become a model for justice and liberty for all. "There's a crowd that wants to be the conscience of a nation in desperate need of direction, even a world in need of direction," says Haynes. "We get a lot further along by going together than we do in our respective silos."

The lead attorney, Areva Martin, says Haynes reminded the attendees to be agitators in the fight for justice. "The progress that we've made in this country, for black people, for brown people, for the lgbtqia community, for all marginalized, for the indigenous tribes throughout this country," says Martin. "They've been made because people have been willing to stand up, to speak truth to power and to challenge those powers that be."

Martin says the city of Palm Springs has welcomed Section 14 back to the negotiating table. "We just hope that we are not in one of those false starts and that this is a real and meaningful and substantive commitment on the city to do something that makes these families whole," says Haynes.

Section 14 is a one-square-mile tract in downtown Palm Springs. The area was home to a predominantly Black and Latino community. Organizers of the event and descendants of the area share with News Channel 3 that city officials demolished their town in the 60s to pave the way for commercial development.

The attorney representing Section 14 families, Areva Martin and their descendants, pointed out that Palm Springs apologized for its role in the clearing of the land and the bulldozing and burning of homes.

Reverend. Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes III, a national civil rights leader, pastor, and advocate for racial justice, will be an honored guest at the day's event. He comes from the Friendship-West Baptist Church.

When: On Sunday, February 18, at 3:00 pm.

Where: The church is at 125 W El Alameda, Palm Springs, CA.

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Miyoshi Price

Miyoshi joined KESQ News Channel 3 in April 2022. Learn more about Miyoshi here.


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