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Bridge Anti-Discrimination Network Holds Memorial And Candlelight Vigil In Goshen

Justin Hicks

The Bridge Anti-Discrimination Network held a memorial and candlelight vigil at the Elkhart County Courthouse in Goshen over the weekend to memorialize lives lost to racial hate crimes.

It was a breezy night for the event, but that didn’t stop mourners from lighting candles and spreading out across the courthouse lawn. 

Credit Justin Hicks
Interim President Erin Floyd speaks at the Bridge Anti-Discrimination Network's memorial and candlelight vigil on Saturday, Sept. 28.

“Tonight, we welcome you into a space where we aim to honor the lives that we have lost as a nation to racially-targeted hate crimes and brutality,” said Bridge Interim President Erin Floyd.

Pastor Mark Schloneger of Berkey Mennonite Church and Bridge board member Izaete Nafziger both spoke at the memorial, offering testimonials of racial reckoning.

“As a Black woman and an immigrant, many times, I have been discriminated against based on the color of my skin and the accent of my voice,” Nafziger said.

Credit Justin Hicks
Attendees light candles on the steps of the Elkhart County Courthouse at the Bridge Anti-Discrimination Network's memorial and candlelight vigil on Saturday, Sept. 28.

In addition to the memorial and vigil, the Bridge Network organized a voter registration table and a performance by local band Mechudos y Peludos.

Though some counterprotest was expected, the memorial remained peaceful.

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Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.