SPOKANE, Wash. - The community is rallying behind a local organization, where employees found a racial slur painted on their building.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center says the "n-word" was spray-painted on the building and a van overnight. That word is no longer there, as community members painted over it at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The MLK Family Outreach Center provides an array of family-oriented prgorams, including daycare and parenting education programs.
Dozens gathered at the center Tuesday to show employees they are not alone, and that racism will not be tolerated in our community. Neighbors even broke into song as they stood in unity with community leaders who spoke out against the hatred.
"This type of hatred will not be tolerated in our community," said MLK Family Outreach Executive Director, Freda Grandy. "It doesn't matter what our political views are."
Tuesday morning, employees say they arrived to work to find the racial slur on their building.
"It is not new," said NAACP President, Phil tyler. "It is not because a new president was elected. This has been going on for years. And the community, our country, needs to wake up."
Grandy was emotional at times during the press conference, calling for unity and asking the community to stand with the MLK center.
"We just want to do good work. That's it," she said. "We just want to be here for families. That's it."
Pastor Joe Wittwer of Life Center Church also lead the group in prayer, even saying a prayer for whoever is responsible.
"We want to pray for the person or persons responsible for this and their hearts need to change," Wittwer said. "Somehow, Lord, we pray that you would get through to them."
Community members and local politicians then took turns painting over the slur. But, leaders also warned neighbors not to forget about what happened Tuesday when the dust settles.
"This is not about simply joining hands together and raising paintbrushes for one day, for one incident," Tyler said. "You have to open up your minds and your hearts and when you see this behavior, you have to speak to it."
The MLK center says it worked to make Tuesday as normal a day as it could for the children at the center. Leaders say they want the center to be a place where families and children feel safe, and won't let the actions of whoever did this stop them from that mission.
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