OneRace plans June 19 “March on Atlanta”

Several hundred people gathered for a rally organized by the OneRace Movement, a Christian organization created in 2017 to improve race relations. ERIC STIRGUS / ESTIRGUS@AJC.COM.
Several hundred people gathered for a rally organized by the OneRace Movement, a Christian organization created in 2017 to improve race relations. ERIC STIRGUS / ESTIRGUS@AJC.COM.

Thousands of people are expected to pack Centennial Olympic Park on June 19 - when many African Americans observe Juneteenth - for a day of prayer,  worship and a march from Centennial Olympic Park to the Capitol and back.

The event, called the “March on Atlanta,” is organized by the OneRace  Movement, a diverse young adult Christian-based project of racial reconciliation.

It begins at 9 a.m.

For nearly two weeks, demonstrations have been held in downtown Atlanta and elsewhere  around the state to protest  the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police or white citizens.

Related: Deaths are "salt in the wound"

In Louisville, Ky., Breonna Taylor, who in her apartment, was shot eight times by police serving a no-knock warrant. None of the police officers have been charged in her death.

In Minneapolis, George Floyd was held to the ground by police, with one, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

A handcuffed Floyd repeatedly uttered that he could not breathe. Four former police officers have been arrested and charged in his death.

Related: Faith leaders call out racism and those who are silent

“We talk a lot about knowing, owning and changing the story,” OneRace co-director Josh Clemons said in a press release. “The story right now is tension and violence surrounding the many events that have precipitated this moment. We must own it in prayer, intercession and lament, and must move forward together to change the story for generations to come.”

Because of the coronavirus, the gathering will be limited to 6,000, so participants are encouraged to register

The OneRace Movement held its first large gathering in 2018 at Stone Mountain Park to repent for the past sins of racism, affirm the faith community’s role in overcoming the nation’s divisive past, and commit to a new unified movement.