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Come OUT St. Pete to host virtual vigil to show solidarity with African American community

Together We Rise is an initiative to connect the LGBTQ+ community and the African American community in St. Petersburg.

TAMPA, Fla — The city of St. Petersburg made the decision to cancel all 2020 in-person events, including St. Pete Pride. But, that isn't stopping the community from connecting virtually.

This year, Come OUT St. Pete, Inc, the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum and Project No Labels are teaming up to host the “Together We Rise” virtual vigil. 

The event is scheduled for June 27 and will broadcast virtually beginning at 8 p.m. through the Come out St Pete Facebook page.

"This is a first of its kind event for us, being all online, but that's where everyone is right now. During the event we plan to unfurl the rainbow flag, take a knee for nine minutes and observe a moment of silence for the senseless killings of African Americans" said Chris Jones, Co-Chair of Come OUT St. Pete. 

Credit: Come Out St Pete

During the event, there will be more than 100 volunteers -- six feet apart -- to help unfurl the 365-foot flag provided by Come OUT St Pete. Each volunteer will be given a mask, commemorative t-shirt, hand sanitizer and a battery-operated candle for the candlelight vigil.  

The moment of silence is for George Floyd of Minneapolis, Tony McDade of Tallahassee, Rayshard Brooks of Atlanta, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells of Philadelphia and Riah Milton of Liberty Township.

"With everything that's going on in the world right now. We have to list and react with intention. With our virtual event, for us to bridge the communities, to stand in solidarity, we have a right and an obligation to continue that." said Loralei Matisse, Co-Chair of Come OUT St Pete.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to register online

To keep up with all the details for "Together We Rise" visit the Facebook Event Page or the events tab on the Come out St. Pete website.

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