Thousands gathered in the Dallas Market Center in November for three days of preaching, Bible study, and action for social justice. The Justice Revival, organized by Sojourners, convened Dallas clergy, activists, and political leaders representing more than 200 churches to address two main concerns: the city’s 6,000 homeless people and the high percentage of high school students in the Dallas school district who are not adequately prepared for college. Eleven-year-old Dallas public school student Dalton Sherman was a highlight of the event. “Do you believe that what you’re doing in your community is shaping not just my generation, but that of my children—and my children’s children?” he asked a cheering crowd.
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In a highly segregated city, participants came from across denominational, political, and ethnic lines—including evangelicals, mainline Protestants, historic black church pastors, Latino ministers, and the Catholic bishop. Service projects following the event took nearly 1,000 volunteers to five low-income neighborhoods throughout Dallas.
Following Sojourners’ 2008 Justice Revival in Columbus, Ohio, volunteers worked at 50 projects cleaning parks, rehabbing homeless shelters, organizing food pantries, and hosting gasoline-giveaways in poor neighborhoods. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland convened a statewide anti-poverty task force that included more than 300 participants, with one segment dedicated to addressing challenges unique to children and youth.