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Local pastor: National leaders need to address systemic racism

A local pastor is calling for a national summit on racism following a week of racially charged violence.

Pastor Warren Stewart Sr. with the First Institutional Baptist Church has started a White House Petition directed to President Barack Obama, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requesting they convene a national summit on systemic racism.

“We need to address this,” said Stewart. “We hope that this country will face the issue and see that we have to address it, or else we will go in reverse in race relations.”

The recent shootings by police and the shootings of police are both of the racial violence, he said.

“We mourn all of the deaths that are a result of systemic racism, of this racial violence,” he said. “The system is harming people, and they need to address the system, not just police shootings.”

In a release from Pastor Stewart’s church, the purpose for convening the summit is listed as:

  1. Acknowledge the existence of Systemic Racism in America and that it is injurious and/or fatal to people of color daily
  2. To admit that Systemic Racism in America is in direct conflict with the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution
  3. To address System Racism in America through effective education, enforcement, eradication and advocacy