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White Plains Black Friday March, Rally Bring Many Civic Groups Together

Representatives from more than 20 groups gathered on Black Friday to show their support for various causes. Photo Credit: Andrew Courtney
Residents representing a variety of groups gathered in White Plains to support various causes. Photo Credit: Andrew Courtney

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- More than 300 White Plains residents turned out to show unity for a variety of causes during a march and rally through downtown on Friday.

Sponsored by the Westchester People Action Coalition Foundation, the event was held in response to the climate in the country as a result of the recent election, said Nada Khader, executive director of WESPAC.

"All of the different groups that took part in the Unity March were taking a stand for their values and for the residents from all walks of life in Westchester County," Khader said.

During the event, more than 20 groups, including everyone from Black Lives Matter to the White Plains Keep Families Together, turned out to show their support for each other and the multiple different causes.

Many of the causes touched on issues that were hotly debated during the election, and many feel that a negative and dangerous tone was set, Khader said.

"We would like all residents of our community to feel included whether they be LGBT, black, an immigrant or Muslim," she added. "We are working to become a sanctuary community for all."

Local politicians showed up as well to offer their support for the different causes, including White Plains Mayor Tom Roach and Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner.

"During World War II, the world looked the other way, and 6 million Jews lost their lives in the Holocaust," Feiner said. "We can’t make the same mistake."

Khader said a couple of the major issues discussed during the march included the push for undocumented residents to be able to receive a driver's license and to stop raids by immigration officials.

"We would all be much safer if undocumented workers could receive driver's licenses and be covered by insurance," she said.

The groups plan to meet again and work toward having a resolution passed by city officials that would designate White Plains as a Sanctuary City.

"Our country is at a place where those who care about the future need to take a stand and make sure all residents are respected and their rights are intact," she added.

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