One Year After #Ferguson: Let Us Go From #PropheticGrief to #RevolutionaryLove
One year ago, when Mike Brown was killed in the midst of tears and grief, we prayed with our hands up as tempers flared and fires burned. When we saw Eric Garner die on camera, it took our breath away. When Sandy Bland died in custody, we saw the lethal consequences of racism behind bars. And when fifteen people died in houses of worship—six in Oak Creek and nine in Charleston, we were stunned that hate could drive white supremacists to spill blood even in sacred spaces.
In the last year, an eruption of moral rage has led to a rapidly growing multi-racial, multi-gendered, multi-generational, multi-faith movement for racial and economic justice. We have grieved, wept and turned our #PropheticGrief into fervent prayers and courageous action. In Ferguson, we stood with clergy and organizers calling for repentance and renewal. We have died-in and marched from New York City to Washington, D.C. We have traveled to Charleston, Selma and Winston-Salem to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers. We have walked the halls of power, from Capitol Hill to the Pentagon, to demand the just treatment of all people. We have put our feet on the ground and our bodies on the line to make sure brown and black lives matter — at the polls, in our schools, in the marketplace and on our city streets.
We are a small school of faith leaders — Christian, Jewish, Sikh, and Muslim – channeling the hunger for justice in our many communities into a single chorus, calling for change. We are not the only ones. This movement has many leaders — queer Black working class women, undocumented youth, Muslim and Sikh advocates, and so many more. They are organizing on the ground and online, connecting our struggles, and building unlikely coalitions. If we believe in the freedoms for which our ancestors died we must join them. Together, we can renew our commitment to build the movement to topple the wages of racism for people of all faiths, colors, and beliefs.
Will you join us?
Go to FergusonAction.com for a list of National Demands, which include supporting the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA). This law will prohibit the use of profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion by law enforcement agencies. Introduced last April by Congressman John Conyers and Senator Ben Cardin, a groundswell of support could make this law in the fall. For sample messaging for letters and phone calls to elected officials, go to naacp.org.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Pastor, Greenleaf Christian Church Goldsboro, NC
Rabbi Sharon Brous Founding Rabbi, IKAR Los Angeles, CA
Sister Simone Campbell Executive Director of NETWORK
Bishop Minerva Carcaño Bishop, California-Pacific Conference, UMC
Dr. Sharon Groves Faith organizer and strategist working at the intersection of faith, LGBTQ equality and justice
Rev. Dr. Peter G. Heltzel Assoc. Professor of Systematic Theology at NYTS Director, The Micah Institute
Valarie Kaur, Esquire Interfaithleader, Civil rights lawyer, and filmmaker
Rabbi Stephanie Kolin Associate Rabbi ,Central Synagogue in NYC
Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church in NYC
Reverend Michael-Ray Mathews Director of Clergy Organizing at PICO National Network
Brian D. McLaren Author, speaker, activist, and networker
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago
Bishop Gene Robinson Retired Bishop, The Episcopal Church
Linda Sarsour Community activist and Executive Director of the Arab Arab American Association of New York
Rev. Dr. Katharine R. Henderson President, Auburn Theological Seminary
Rev. John Vaughn Senior Vice President, Auburn Theological Seminary
This letter was originally posted here.