“Fellow residents, my name is Reverend Kenneth Saunders, and I am the Chair of the Piscataway Civil Rights Advisory Commission.

“My wife Shirley and I have spent decades helping to build this community.

“While I normally do not speak at once to all residents, the cause and the times before us are too important.

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“On a street in Minneapolis, a life was taken violently in broad daylight. George Floyd was far from the first African American to be murdered. But, his story, his death, has stirred people – not just in this country, but throughout the world.

“Some of those blind to prejudice have now decided to open their eyes. So many more are spurred to action. For those like me who have worked our entire lives for civil rights, we remain energized and undeterred.

“More than ever, we know this truth: Racism and its bloodshed have been a plague on this nation.

“However, while we do not have the country we want, we do have the community we want.

“I am thankful for this Township. In Piscataway, we are all neighbors, equals and Americans. We raise our families next to each other with respect and harmony.

“I am also thankful for our local police. We have a department that is dedicated and professional. Its officers protect the safety and civil rights of all residents.

“Please remember not to paint all police with a broad brush. Although our country faces great difficulties, this Township continues to move in a positive direction.

“Nevertheless, if you have a concern, the Civil Rights Commission is here to listen and help.

“With you, our families, and our first responders, we can continue building our community. As we build our community, we build our country.

“Thank you, and my best wishes to you all.”

Reverend Dr. Kenneth L. Saunders, Sr., Chair of the Piscataway Civil Rights Advisory Commission