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Black Faith Leaders Urge Colleagues to Speak Out on Social Justice Issues

Source: Editorial Board

In celebration of Black History Month, three Black faith leaders met this February at the Pullen Memorial Baptist Church to discuss the role faith leaders can play in social justice movements. 

In “Black Faith 4 Black History,” CJ Brinson, a Guilford County pastor, urged his colleagues to speak out on the critical issues of our times. 

“No longer can faith leaders not be willing to speak out about police accountability or being unwilling to talk about economic mobility in communities that have been divested in. No longer can folks stand on the sidelines and not have a position that affirms reproductive justice or affirms the humanity of queer and trans folks,” Brinson said. 

Rev. Chalice Overy, an associate pastor at Pullen Memorial, concurred with Brinson and noted that the “rhetoric in the political sphere right now” is often targeted towards marginalized communities like transgender individuals or immigrants. She urged her colleagues to fight for justice no matter the specific group targeted. 

“Because what would the Dr. King say? That injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere? Yes, we have to be that kind of moral voice that protects that justice and liberty for everybody,” Overy remarked. 

Rev. Marcus Fairley, senior pastor of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church brought up the challenges he faces both within and outside his congregation. There’s “this conundrum that we’re caught between as the Black minister because while we may be progressive, we live in a conservative society,” Fairley noted. Fairley urged his colleagues to push through that challenge and “to be bold.”

Brinson ended the roundtable discussion with a call to action for his fellow faith leaders.

“Advocate for those who are most marginalized within our communities and really [take] a stand to ensure that the whole of humanity is being affirmed,” he implored.

View the full conversation below:

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