Grace and Race Ministries, Inc. was founded with the goal of helping to build bridges of understanding to overcome racism and become the “beloved community” envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The most frequently asked question we hear has become “what can I/we do?” Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt has prepared a resource to inform and guide next steps for communities of faith willing to commit to the goal. The following is a brief excerpt from his writings in The Beloved Community Toolkit . It is my prayer that you will identify a next step for your role as a bridge builder.
A universal human striving is for authentic community. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was among those who framed the conception of community in what he termed the Beloved Community. King asserted that “all life is interrelated.” This interrelatedness was rooted, for King, in the fundamental belief in the kinship of all persons. He believed that all life is part of a single process; all persons are sisters and brothers, and that we all have a place in the Beloved Community. Because all of us are interrelated, one cannot harm another without harming oneself. King also said “everyone could be great because everyone could serve.” In these uncertain times, churches and our broader society must make a sincere commitment to engaging in acts of compassion and justice as means of living out our faith and loving our neighbors. Individuals, churches, groups, organizations, institutions and even governments can continue to pursue Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community by making a sincere commitment to community- building and social engagement.
Here are ten ways that individuals, churches, and other organizations can promote peace with justice.
1. Support and develop community-wide plans aimed at expanding economic opportunities for racial-ethnic persons and women specifically in the areas of housing, banking, and employment practices.
2. Actively participate in programs that reach out to help those in the most need – the hungry, the homeless, and the unemployed.
3. Do your part to assure that every inner city and rural young person can look forward to an adequate education. Adopt an inner-city or rural school. Offer your skills where appropriate.
4. Encourage schools, colleges, and universities in your area to include the teachings of Dr. King and other freedom fighters in their curricula and programs.
5. Take specific actions to deal with the problems of drugs, alcohol dependency, teenage pregnancy, and family violence in your community.
6. Advocate for the removal of all weapons from our streets, homes, and schools. Support causes that promote freedom, justice, and peace abroad.
7. Help extend human rights, dignity, health, and economic well-being to all persons.
8. Actively oppose groups that promote hatred and violence. Vigilantly oppose racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other forms of hatred in our communities.
9. Sponsor and participate in programs that encourage interracial, intercultural, and inter-religious goodwill and unity.
10. Read the Social Principles of your denomination and strive to make them an integral part of your life and the life of your church and community.
You can find the entire toolkit online THE BeLOVEd CoMMuNiTy TOOLKIT – Rackcdn.com