UNF hosts virtual candlelight vigil for racial justice

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The University of North Florida held a virtual candlelight vigil Wednesday night for racial justice.

It comes in the wake of the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd this year.

More than 200 people consistently watched the Facebook Live feed. (The video is available to watch on the university’s YouTube page.)

Among the roughly two dozen speakers was State Representative Tracie Davis, a UNF alum.

“Show the world that black lives matter,” Davis said. “Let’s not let this loss be in vain.”

The group held a moment of silence that was much more than a moment. It was a full eight minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time the since-arrested officer was kneeling on Floyd’s neck.

Matt Hartley, the associate director of the university’s Interfaith Center, helped put this together.

“People are responding in this moment of social distancing, and saying, ‘Even as we’re still a little bit distant from each other, we can be together and stand against racial injustice.”

Near the end of the live feed, UNF’s president announced all incoming freshman will take classes on anti-racism.