Benefit concert, Watch Night for Racial Justice, on New Year’s Eve

December 28, 2017

On New Year’s Eve (Sunday, Dec. 31), neighbors and guests are invited to the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral (38th and Chestnut) for “Watch Night for Racial Justice” – an evening of jazz that will benefit interfaith organization P.O.W.E.R. (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild).

The event is in response to the alarming increase in racist violence and injustice over the past year. It celebrates the tradition of “Watch Night” which began on New Year’s Eve 1863 in black churches throughout the nation awaiting the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1864. 

A family-friendly event, the evening will start at 4:00 p.m. at the Cathedral with three hours of performances by leading area jazz musicians, including vocalists Ruth Naomi Floyd, DeVonne Gardner, and Lourin Plant, pianists Jay Fluellen and Sumi Tonooka, drummer Kimpedro Rodriguez, and the Clef Club Student Ensemble directed by Lovett Hines.

The evening will culminate in a 7:00 p.m. interfaith Watch Night service led by the Very Rev. Judith Sullivan, Dean of the Cathedral as presider and the Rev. Nicolas O’Rourke of POWER and the Living Water United Church of Christ as homilist.

The event will also benefit The Episcopal Cathedral Table Ministries which provide food, clothing, and social services to the people of West Philadelphia.

No advance tickets are required; a freewill offering will be taken throughout the event. Those who cannot attend but would like to contribute can do so online (click on “Support the Cathedral” and designate your gift for “Watch Night”).

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