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A Fervent Call for Unity Among Community and Local Black Clergy

By Tyronda James

Mongeon IX, Minister Clifford Florence and Howard Eagle (seated left to right), members of local groups, make a call for much needed Unity.

Members of the Faith Community Alliance Coalition (FCAC) are calling for much needed unity in Rochester and especially among local black clergy.

Minister Clifford Florence, FCAC president said clergy used to be looked at as the most respected leaders in black community, but sees that as changing. “Not only are the clergy not united, local government is not united,” he said.

“The city government is not really united with county government. In fact, the city government is divided against its own  police department. And nobody seems to be unified with the broader community.” 

Florence referenced an upcoming summit with Rochester Police Department and ‘national, known personalities’ to talk about unity and gun violence. “Yet, there is no local unity,” he said. Florence said an extensive effort was made to foster unity and support of Rochester’s black clergy. “They are not here as you can see,” Florence said.  

In addition to the call for unity, Howard J. Eagle, educator and FCAC member said they want to discuss ideas on easing tension in the community and wants to build serious, ongoing relationships with community organizations.

The group planned a meeting, Tuesday with Rochester Police Locust Club President, Michael Mazzeo to discuss unifying, gun violence and  getting guns off of the streets, as well as the seriousness of anti-racist education for RPD officers. 

They stressed the importance of coming together with the community and garnering more support.

Mongeon IX, member of the Alliance encourages the community to attend the group’s weekly meetings to discuss issues affecting the community relating to education, mental health and addiction services and more.  

“We need everybody in the community to come out and have a discussion in regards to these issues because they are very critical, vital, severe and important issues that we all need to address together.”

The group meets Thursdays at 6 p.m. at the Central Church of Christ, 101 S. Plymouth Avenue.