Seeking Racial Justice

Inspiration from John Lewis & President Obama

As we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. this week, we invite you to explore the power of spirituality in seeking racial justice and maintaining hope in the face of challenges. May John Lewis inspire you to find faith in community and may President Obama serve as a reminder of the power in symbols.  

We wanted to build what we called the beloved community, a community at peace with itself. In a sense, where you forget about race and color and see people as people, as human beings.
— - by John Lewis with Bill Moyers

As the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, John Lewis reflects on the power of community and spirituality in cultivating trust and, thereby, transformation within the civil rights movement. This powerful video transports you back to the time and place where history was made and a collective dream of justice was shared. In watching it, we invite you to reflect on the demonstrations of community and faith that you engage in as an agent for social change. John Lewis is still speaking out as he witnesses the misuse of power today. How can he be an inspiration to all of us? 

Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012 were dismissed by some of his critics as merely symbolic for African Americans. But there is nothing ‘mere’ about symbols.
— - by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic

This poignant article by Ta-Nehisi Coates both honors and analyzes President Obama's role in the narrative of justice and equality for black America. In it, he articulates the complicated dynamics and intertwined history of race and power that led to the ascension of an African American to the highest office in our country. He also reminds us that the narrative of equality is still being written and that the symbols we use in the fight for justice matter.