Social Justice Revival
The Justice Revival!
Building Power, Community Safety, and Families
The black church has the potential to be a vehicle for community power. A deep suspicion exists in black churches that white activists have abandoned their issues and Democratic party leaders and candidates only care about them in the months before elections. Given the context of the world over the last 6 years, the recent debacle over a speaker in the house of representatives and the potential for an ongoing and chaotic war of ideas, we aim to create a space where black pastors and congregations can talk about the issues that matter most to them, undiluted by a complicated multiracial coalition, following processes that work for them, led by organizers that look like them, in a location that feels safe and familiar. Before leaders and communities feel comfortable participating in a complex coalition, they need to have the space to tell their own stories and hold their own power. We want to help create this structure.
Black pastors have long asked that professional organizing entities offer a project that supports the day-to-day life and growth of the local church beyond campaigns. This process speaks to that in spades.
The revivals will call on congregants to participate in four kinds of action:
Responding to community violence. In line with TRP’s program model, we will invite congregation members to join neighborhood safety walks, group violence intervention, rapid response after shootings, direct Crisis Response (to include Chaplaincy) and other direct and immediate activities that promote community safety.
Power Building for community development.
TRP will conduct training for one-to-one campaigns, massive listening seasons, and community forums.
Predominantly black churches are powerful community institutions with the capacity to wield real political clout in the coming elections. We’d like to see a robust voter engagement structure housed in each church to register voters, provide information about where and when to vote, and encourage people to go to the polls. Other activities could involve candidate forums and public education events on specific issues. Our hired part-time democracy fellows will work with select participating churches.
At the core is the promotion of an ‘awakening’ in the faith community, focusing on a definition of organizing akin to discipleship. We will support clergy and other faith leaders in each church to preach narratives of democratic engagement and inclusion.
Goals & Objectives
We believe there is an opportunity here to accomplish several goals at once