Lord, as we become aware of the intensity of the racial divide, our hearts are broken. Help us lament as You call us to do. May our lament be a form of worship, a joining of our hearts with Yours, as we grieve the lack of Your kingdom justice here on earth. Strengthen us for this path. We know that you mourn with us and comfort us as we mourn with one another. In Christ’s holy name, amen.
– Latasha Morrison, adapted from Be the Bridge (Download this prayer here)
Voices of Racial Reconciliation
During this time of unrest, anger, hurt, and confusion, knowing where to start or how to make a difference can be a challenge. But no matter where you might stand, educating yourself and raising your own awareness is a powerful first step. To learn from voices like Latasha Morrison, Ashlee Eiland, Lisa Sharon Harper, Jo Saxton, and Leonce Crump Jr., who are already engaged in the work of reconciliation, click on the excerpt link below.
Influential Voices to Follow
Latasha Morrison is a bridge-builder, reconciler, and a compelling voice in the fight for racial justice. Ebony magazine recognized her as one of their 2017 Power 100 for her work as a community crusader. In 2016 she founded Be the Bridge, which has grown to more than 20,000 members across five countries, to inspire and equip ambassadors of racial reconciliation.
Ashlee Eiland is the author of Human(Kind): How Reclaiming Human Worth and Embracing Radical Kindness Will Bring Us Back Together. She serves as the formation and preaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Jo Saxton, a Londoner born to Nigerian immigrants, is an author, speaker, podcaster, and entrepreneurial coach. After founding an initiative supporting women who lead, Jo now coaches female leaders around the world. She is the author of Ready to Rise: Own Your Voice, Gather Your Community, Step into Your Influence and The Dream of You.
Lisa Sharon Harper, author of The Very Good Gospel, is the chief church engagement officer at Sojourners, a nonprofit organization committed to putting Christian faith into action in the pursuit of social justice. She has been recognized by Huffington Post as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders.”
Michael Todd is the lead pastor of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the author of the New York Times #1 bestselling book, Relationship Goals.
Carlos Whittaker is a speaker, podcaster, worship leader, and self-professed “hope dealer.” A People’s Choice Award winner, he is the author of Enter Wild, Moment Maker, and Kill the Spider.
Rich Villodas is the Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large multiracial church in Elmhurst, Queens. He is also a key speaker for Emotionally Healthy Discipleship—a movement which has touched hundreds of thousands of people.
Sho Baraka is a recording artist, culture curator, and activist. Sho is a three-time Billboard-charting, Stellar, and Dove award-nominated artist and founding member of international hip-hop record label Reach Records. He is also one of the founders of The And Campaign (https://andcampaign.org/).
Léonce B. Crump Jr. is lead pastor of Renovation Church in Atlanta. The former professional athlete has strong transcultural appeal and connections in the world of professional sports and pop music as well as church planting and leadership circles.
Additional Resources and Voices of Reconciliation:
Truth’s Table Podcast: https://www.truthstable.com/podcast
Just Mercy: film based on the book by Bryan Stevenson, available to watch free online during the month of June
Latasha’s Ann Voskamp post link – “How Acknowledgment and Lament Lead to Healing”