A Great Blessing & A Great Responsibility: Sojourners Emerging Voices Project!

I am humbled and blessed to be apart of Sojourners Emerging Voices Project which is a  initiative that aims to raise the voices of new leaders for faithful justice. I found out about this in the spring but the project was officially launched yesterday. God is hilarious because a few years ago I  complained to friends and God about the lack of women and people of color speaking, leading and writing in the faith-based social justice world. Often when we complain about something that needs to get done God will point back at you and say “why don’t you do it?” In 2007 I was discouraged about the lack of concern for justice I observed in the church, had recently left a really bad church situation and was praying and crying about the gap between my reality and the church. During that time after a fast I learned about Sojourners from a email to Union students inviting us to apply for a scholarship to the Pentecost 2007 Conference (which I thought was a Black Pentecostal Social Justice Conference, one of my girlfriends even thought I was going to meet somebody there, LOL). I attended the conference and found a community of Christians striving for justice nationally but more importantly in NYC. At the conference I met Lisa Sharon Harper (a fellow Emerging Voices member), Rev. Peter Heltzel and Anna Lee Winans all founders of NY Faith & Justice. I returned home fired up to organize people of faith for social justice. A year later I was able to intern at Sojourners as a Beatitudes Society Fellow and began writing for the magazine and blog. I never expected to have these opportunities but God does hear our spoken and unspoken prayers. Those who know me know that I come from very humble circumstances and I was not raised in church, all I have to qualify me for this work is God’s grace and the words of my testimony.

I want to use this platform to highlight realities that are ignored by many of our churches,  proclaim the good news, share my testimony and encourage Black women and the poor that God has a special place for us in his plan for humanity.

Thank you for all your support and prayers. Please be in prayer for me and my family as I continue to walk in God’s purpose for my life.

Emerging Voices Website

See Rev. Jim Wallis’ Announcement about the Emerging Voices Project below:

Today, Sojourners is launching a new project called Emerging Voices, and it’s one of the most exciting things I have been involved with for a long time. It aims to mentor, develop, and promote the most dynamic up-and-coming communicators — speakers, preachers, and teachers — who so clearly are called to lead and publicly articulate the biblical call to social justice.

The vision for this project is exciting and something to be celebrated. It also calls to mind a critical observation: Our world often wants saviors, not prophets; new messiahs, not leaders.

We want heroes with superhuman strength who save the day, not mere mortals who speak the truths we typically don’t want to hear. Even the modern day giants of social justice — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, and Mahatma Gandhi, for example —were at best prophets, but never saviors.

It’s easy to slip into the mentality that one person, one voice will rise up in a generation, and that he or she will change the world as we know it. Perhaps we even think, “Maybe I will change the world.”

King spoke of this temptation as the “drum major instinct.” This is the basic desire of humans to lead the charge, and ultimately, reap the recognition — or, at the very least, to place our confidence in a single human being.

Two months before his assassination, King warned his listeners at his home church of Ebenezer Baptist:

“When the church is true to its nature, it says ‘Whosoever will, let him come.’  And it is not supposed to satisfy the perverted use of the drum major instinct.  It’s the one place where everyone should be the same, standing before a common master and savior.”

However, King understood that even if he were able to overcome, or at least suppress, this instinct within himself, others would still submit their wounds and place their dreams upon him. Envisioning his funeral, he said that if he were to be remembered as a drum major, then he would like to be remembered as a drum major for justice, for peace, and for righteousness.

The role of savior has already been filled, and the cross Jesus bore is the ultimate rejection of this human drum major instinct. That’s where Christians must always start. Continue Reading

 

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