Day of Forgiveness

On December 13, 2023 community members were invited to participate in the first ever ‘Day of Forgiveness’ in Champaign County. This Day of Forgiveness began the night before when families impacted by gun violence were able to have a meal with Dr. Tony Davis, a gun violence survivor himself, to discuss grief and the journey of forgiveness. The following day, Dr. Davis went on guest star on “A Penny for Your  Thoughts” radio program and participated in a luncheon with community members at Douglas library to discuss his story.  This lunch provided an intimate setting to get to know Dr. Davis and discuss the ‘I Forgive’ film. Participants were able to ask Dr. Davis about his journey and how he navigated his path to forgiveness.
To highlight the day, the public was invited to a Community Coalition-led, free screening of the movie ‘I Forgive’ followed by a panel discussion featuring the film’s creator – Dr. Tony Davis. The faith-based film dramatizes the events of that traumatic day when Dr. Davis was brutally shot and left for dead. It goes on to detail Dr. Davis’ incredible account of the afterlife and how he refused to allow the violence and hatred he experienced to make him a victim, instead choosing the path of forgiveness. This event allowed community member to not only view the film but to interact with Dr. Davis and other local faith leaders as they discussed how forgiveness impacts their daily lives. They expanded on how forgiveness can impact a community and how forgiveness is not a feeling but a choice.
This was a community celebration of forgiveness bringing people from all over the community together including Mayor, Deborah Feinen, Mayor, Diane Marlin, City council members Will Kyles and Kathy Shannon, City Manager, Dorothy David, Deputy City Manager, Joan Walls, Champaign County Sheriff, Dustin D. Heuerman, Chief of Police, Timothy Tyler, various city staff including E&E, NSD, and CPD, other community organizations and numerous community members.