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To be black in America is to listen to death daily. To hear mothers wailing at unnecessary funerals, to see fathers mourning lost sons, to offer graveside prayers that puncture the heart of God — this is the sorrow song of a people, and a nation, haunted by racism.
Over our heads however, I hear the sweet, dark sounds of freedom in the air, calling for the dry bones of democracy to arise from the segregated sinews of our society. The multiracial chorus of protestors chanting, "I can't breathe," the die-ins, the walk-outs, and the highway-halting actions of youth from New York to Chicago to Tallahassee to Los Angeles represent a thirst and hunger for righteousness that includes and yet transcends voting.
To join within this symphony of justice, I am calling faith communities to participate in a national #DialInForJustice during the month of December. The goal is to call the Unites States Department of Justice and local police departments, communicating our desire to see systemic reforms to policing in America. This initiative seeks to lift up faith-filled voices alongside the already existing trumpet blasts of groups like the Organization of Black Struggle, Dream Defenders, PICO, Sojourners, and so on.
A Handbook for Justice
Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World. IVP Books.
The Church's Alternative Currency
The Economy for Desire: Christianity and Capitalism in a Postmodern World. Baker Academic
Power and the Poor
The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. SmileyBooks
How to Proclaim Restoration
Missional Preaching: Engage, Embrace, Transform, by Al Tizon.
Justice for Trayvon Martin: Million Hoody March
On February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla., George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old boy. Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch "captain," says he was acting in self-defense, and — incredibly — Zimmerman has yet to be arrested or charged with a crime.
However, thanks to the organizing efforts of Mr. Martin’s parents, civil rights groups, media commentaries, and concerned citizens, our latest racialized miscarriage of criminal justice is now getting the widespread attention that it deserves.
On Monday, the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced it would launch an independent investigation into the causes and circumstances of Mr. Martin’s death.
Were You There?
The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James H. Cone.
Three bonus reflections
Graduates reflect on how their seminary education impacts their work of social justice today.
The Evil of Indifference
Sanitation and Self-Deception
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