John Lewis with fellow protestors at Edmund Pettus Bridge, in JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, a Magnolia Pictures release. © Alabama Department of Archies and History. Donated by Alabama Media Group. Photo by Tom Lankford, Birmingham News. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Good Trouble is a timely and deeply moving film, particularly in this moment of national awakening and reckoning around police violence and systemic racism, and as we approach what feels like the most consequential election in my lifetime.

6-26-2020

"If the Bible says anything, it says that God and neighbor both are irreducible."

DACA recipient Luz Chavez celebrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court ruled in a 5-4 vote that President Donald Trump's 2017 move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful. Washington, D.C., June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Even as we allow ourselves to savor this victory and be lifted by the hope of this moment, we also need to prepare and strategize for what’s next, because the fight for immigration justice is far from over. The justices of the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of whether Trump is allowed to end DACA — but rather on the way in which he attempted to do so.

Justice is not something we form or fashion. It is woven by God into the very fabric of creation. It has been from the very dawn of time. Justice just is. Our responsibility is to let justice roll, and that means removing those barriers — individual, structural, systemic — that stand in its way, blocking justice from reaching its appointed destination. 

6-24-2020

Civil rights advocate Cecilia Muñoz was an eyewitness to history as she helped shape the Obama administration's immigration reform policies, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for the people many now refer to as "Dreamers."

Christina Colón 6-24-2020

The Reverend Eboni Marshall Turman preaches at High Point University in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of www.marshallturman.com. 

On the 155th observance of Juneteenth, a collective of Black church pastors and theologians released a theological statement to “emphatically repudiate the evil beast of white racism, white supremacy, white superiority and its concomitant and abiding anti-Black violence.”

Aaron E. Sanchez 6-24-2020

'We Serve White's Only No Spanish or Mexicans' sign outside a Texas restaurant. 1949. Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

This history runs through, into, and over my interracial children.

Poor People's March in Washington, D.C., in Washington, D.C. on May 14, 2018. Photo by Rebekah Fulton for Sojourners.

We have said from the very beginning of our work together that our goal is to shift the moral narrative in this country. And we know that means changing who holds power.

Randall Balmer 6-23-2020

Jimmy Carter signs extension of Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Ratification on October 20,1978.

Because of evangelical political behavior over the last several decades, it’s tempting to believe that evangelicals have always supported right-wing causes and politicians. That is not the case, and there’s some reason to believe that in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, we may be witnessing an awakening of conscience among some evangelicals. If so, progressive evangelicals could do far worse than look to the 1970s for inspiration.

Sandy Ovalle 6-22-2020

Image via REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Immigrants have been willing to carry these oppressive burdens because there are no other options to make a way for our status in the system. The mantras playing in our head are the horrific echoes of a system that values immigrant people because of their economic contribution and slowly takes away their breath in favor of building an empire.

Alexander Jusdanis 6-22-2020

Photo by Andy Mai on Unsplash

Karen decided to leave monastic life. She found a rent-free cabin a few hours away in Colt Run Holler, W.Va. She moved in with just $100 and an old Ford Bronco. Alone in the woods, she became a hermit.

J. Jioni Palmer 6-22-2020

Flag announcing another lynching is flown from the window of the NAACP headquarters on 69 Fifth Ave., New York City in 1936. Credit: Shutterstock

I’ve never been more scared for my Black son, but I knew this is what we had to do.

6-19-2020

Third-generation historian John Whittington Franklin discusses with Rev. Jim Wallis how Black history is integral to a larger American historical narrative. 

Dante Stewart 6-19-2020

Protesters in masks activists march with signs against police shootings and racism, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 6,2020. Photo by Oscar Sweep / Shutterstock.com

The phrase "Black Lives Matter," like Joseph’s request to take his bones wherever his people go, is to keep memory alive. To keep it alive is to fight for us when we can't fight for ourselves. It is to remind us that though our world may forget us, there is One who does not. So even as people shout loud “look how much progress this country has made; be grateful,” we understand that, as Angela Davis writes, “freedom is a constant struggle.”

Jim Wallis 6-18-2020

Local residents and alumni of Yates high school take part in a candlelight vigil honoring George Floyd in Houston, June 8, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Eight minutes and forty-six seconds is a long time. It is enough time to stop, take some deep breaths, feel your body, to pray if you choose, think, reflect, and ask what you’ve been missing. That’s what many are learning as we take a knee for nearly 9 minutes at protests and vigils around the country in response to the killing of George Floyd.

Hannah Conklin 6-17-2020

Image via Union Theological Seminary / Michael Barker

One of the reasons I liked going to church was because I loved hearing stories about Jesus. One of the most compelling, yet saddest, stories I heard was about his manger birth. As a little girl, I simply could not understand how people could allow a baby to be born in a cold barn, in a manger. I cried every time we sang, “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed. The little Lord Jesus Lay down His sweet head.” Every time I heard that hymn, I was reminded of the little girl and boy I had seen on that rainy evening. Somehow, I instinctively knew that there was a connection between Jesus’ manger birth and their inner-city life.

Marlena Graves 6-17-2020

Doctors for Camp Closure march to close immigrant detention camps and family separation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in Washington, D.C., Oct. 19, 2019.

Two years after the crisis of family separation horrified the nation, we face a repeat — this time under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple agencies report that parents in detention are being forced to make an impossible decision: Sign a form releasing their children from custody and detention (who knows what will happen to them?) or remain in indefinite detention with their children in unsafe conditions with no defense against the coronavirus.

6-16-2020

Sikh American civil rights activist and lawyer Valarie Kaur talks with Rev. Jim Wallis about The Revolutionary Love Project.

Guy Nave 6-16-2020

Image via Shutterstock/ Allison C Bailey

While many Americans, especially white Americans, expect the police to protect their privileges, they often criticize police for the tactics used to protect those privileges. While people should indeed be appalled by racialized police violence, racialized policed violence is actually a symptom of the underlying pandemic of racism — a socially constructed malady designed to protect white privilege.

New York Police Department (NYPD) officers are pictured as protesters rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Times Square in the Manhattan borough of New York City. June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

That’s how fragile black life in the U.S. is. Our risk of being killed by police hinges on little things like the weather.