Melvin Bray is author of the book BETTER: Waking Up to Who We Could Be and lead facilitator for the consultancy firm Collabyrinth, which helps communities of goodwill design better systems and structures, policies and practices, that transform persistently inequitable outcomes into equitable ones.

Posts By This Author

Should We Treat White Supremacy Like an Addiction?

by Melvin Bray 08-22-2017

In the wake of the Charlottesville, Va., white nationalist race riot, several writers have reached for the metaphor of addiction to help characterize the gravity of what America is facing and the grip it has on us. It's easy enough to understand why one would choose this particular comparison, especially when you take time to explore how compulsive behaviors affect the individuals engaged in them, their families and friends, and even their brains. The outcomes over time are devastating.

Is Lamb to the Slaughter the Best We've Got?

by Melvin Bray 03-28-2012
Photo by Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images

Many children, many wearing hoodies in solidarity for Trayvon Martin march together. Photo by Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images

I don't want to say too much. I don't want to over-explain. I know that leaves lots of room for misinterpretation. I just want to ask you to wrestle with a few questions.

I was asked last week what my greatest fear as a father of a black boy is in light of the Trayvon Martin murder. My greatest fear for my children is the cautious regret I see on the many faces that can’t help but leave open the possibility there may be some justification for this tragedy. Rest assured George Zimmerman and his supporters will exploit this deep-seated immutable suspicion, just like Susan Smith did so many years ago.

Why People of Color Should Attend the Wild Goose Festival

by Melvin Bray 05-24-2011
This June, I plan to attend the Wild Goose Festival, an arts, music, justice, and spirituality festival in Shakori Hills, North Carolina. My appeal to you is simple.

The Implications of Calling Cordoba House a "Mosque"

by Melvin Bray 08-18-2010
Islam did not attack America on Sept. 11 -- terrorists did.

The Immoral Impediments to Immigration Reform

by Melvin Bray 08-04-2010
One day I'd love to understand why conservatives seem so good at public relations, while liberals, at ridicule.

Interview with Brian McLaren About 'A New Kind of Christianity' (Part 2)

by Melvin Bray 02-19-2010

Interview with Brian McLaren About 'A New Kind of Christianity'

by Melvin Bray 02-18-2010

A Prayer of Confession, Repentance, and Action for Haiti

by Melvin Bray 01-18-2010
Hear our cry, O Lord. Attend unto our earnest prayer. From cracks in the earth, O Lord, do we cry unto you.

'Irreconcilable Islam' and Irascible Christianity, Part 2

by Melvin Bray 01-06-2010
[continued from part 1] If duplicity were the only moral failing in Gi

Gingrich Labels 'Irreconcilable Wing of Islam' but Ignores Irascible Christianity

by Melvin Bray 01-05-2010
"'Tell me what distinguishes the murderer at Fort Hood, the people we arrested in Denver and Detroit and New York, and the five people who were just picked up in Pakistan?'" Former House Speaker Ne

Health-Care Reform: Leading with Respect

by Melvin Bray 07-28-2009
Americans are dying for want of health care.

Professor Gates, Sgt. Crowley, and the Balance of Power

by Melvin Bray 07-24-2009
There are only a handful of widely, cross-culturally known black intellectuals in this country-Maya Angelou, Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Julianne Malveaux, and maybe a few others.

New York Post Monkey Cartoon: Beyond the Pale

by Melvin Bray 02-19-2009
What?! Really... the editors of the New York Post thought this would work?

Seeking Reconciliation Before and After the Election

by Melvin Bray 11-03-2008
As the 2008 presidential campaign draws to a close, I've become increasingly less concerned about the specific outcome of election night and more concerned by what we will have positioned ourselves

Another Look at The New Yorker's Obama Cartoon

by Melvin Bray 07-18-2008

To presume is human, to reconsider sublime. At least that's what I'm beginning to believe as a father of three. Fatherhood asks one to do a great deal with often incomplete, misleading, and sometimes outright false information -- from arbitrating disputes to meting out appropriate consequences to picking cereal. I am loathe to admit the number of times I've rushed to judgment or totally misunderstood something as a dad. Sometimes the only thing that spares me from acting on dubious [...]

Brain Surgery with a Switch-blade

by Melvin Bray 07-07-2008

The Fourth of July is always a weird holiday for me. It's not that I don't enjoy the nostalgia, picnics, barbeque, fireworks, and romanticizing of history--I do--yet as a student of history I can't help but be reminded of the July 5, 1852, speech of Frederick Douglass, given at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY. If you haven't, you should read it: "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." This was a [...]

Medical Competition: A Satirical Op-Ed from the Future

by Melvin Bray 06-03-2008

I have the pleasure of starting us off. Allow me to jump into the future about 24 years. A freelance language artist, Langstyn Huse (one of several figments of my imagination), has a recently syndicated column, the Absurdity of Modernity. In brief, it's political satire related to the issues of the 2032 election. [...]

Introducing 'theGuild' and 'Eyes to See': New Creative Images of the Gospel

by Melvin Bray 06-02-2008

I believe that most of our faith metaphors have either been domesticated, adulterated, appropriated, become insular, or are utterly sedate. They either serve little, serve the wrong, serve ourselves, or serve nothing. All of which is a serious problem, for images move the hearts of humanity. They motivate and [...]

Don Imus and VA Tech - A Year Later

by Melvin Bray 04-15-2008

It was only a short year ago that "shock jock" Don Imus chose to refer to the accomplished women playing in the NCAA Basketball Finals as "nappy-headed hoes," later billing the match-up for his listeners as the "jiggaboos" versus the "wannabes." Imus' disrespect came as little surprise. He had a long history of slur and slander against Blacks, Africans, Asians, Latinos, Jews, Arabs, women, homosexuals, the poor, and just about anyone he considered unlike himself. And he had been paid [...]

Exorcising Racial Demons: Part II

by Melvin Bray 03-20-2008

So what do we do, my friends, in the face of our undeniably incongruent histories-which give us reason to forever suspect one another, a reason dramatically subverted by the call to embrace one another in the way of Jesus?

I believe Diana Butler Bass, again, shows us a way forward. She made the following comment while participating in a panel discussion at the last American Academy of Religion conference. The original context of her thought was the pursuit of [...]