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Watch Night for Racial Justice - An evening of Jazz at the Cathedral to benefit POWER

Watch Night for Racial Justice
An Evening of Jazz at the Cathedral

to benefit POWER
(Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild)
New Year’s Eve – Sunday, December 31, 2017
4:00-7:00 music; 7:00 interfaith worship

In a new initiative inaugurated in response to the alarming increase in racist violence and injustice over the past year, the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral will host a New Year’s Eve event called Watch Night for Racial Justice – An Evening of Jazz at the Cathedral. The event 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 4:00pm 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 7:00pm interfaith Watch Night service, also in the Cathedral, involving an interfaith group of clergy 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 be a fund-raiser to benefit two social justice efforts: 1. POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild) – – which is Pennsylvania’s largest faith-rooted, racial and economic justice organization and is comprised of fifty-five diverse congregations representing more than 40,000 people across Greater Philadelphia, and 2). The Episcopal Cathedral Table Ministries which meet the immediate material needs of food, clothing, and social services of the people of West Philadelphia.

No advance tickets are required.  A freewill offering will be taken throughout the event.  Those who cannot attend but wish to contribute, or would like to contribute in advance, can do so online by going to and clicking on “Support the Cathedral” and designating your gift for “Watch Night.”

The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral is located at 19 South 38th Street between Chestnut and Market streets in University City. One or more food trucks operated by local vendors will be offering a variety of convenient and low-cost options in front of the Cathedral throughout the event.  FREE PARKING WILL BE AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT THE EVENT IN THE OPEN PARKING LOT ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE CATHEDRAL ON 38th AND MARKET (THE CAR ENTRANCE TO THE PARKING LOT IS ON 39th STREET).