The arc of the moral universe is long, and it bends toward justice, but who bends it? While the answer, without a doubt is all of us who labor for justice and peace; in the past three months, Compassionate Atlanta has taken on the role of accompanying those – clergy and spiritual leaders- who have taken a vow to bring about this morally just universe by leading faith communities.
The Greater Atlanta Coalition for Racial Justice was born out of a response to the Remembrance Project. Acall to action from the Equal Justice Initiative, The Remembrance Project calls communities to honor the victims of lynching in their counties through the installation of markers in their memory, ongoing dialogues about race and commitments to racial justice in the present. As various counties in Georgia began to bring awareness to lynching in their communities through their marker installations, Compassionate Atlanta gathered clergy in the Druid Hills neighborhood to inform them of the lynching of Porter Turner. This one time gathering left clergy wanting to learn more and eager to share ideas and best practices in leading their faith communities in honest dialogues about race, particularly on the heels of the lynching’s of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. The coalition became an official initiative of Compassionate Atlanta following that gathering. Since then, the coalition created a database of over 150+ and counting clergy and faith leaders, a social media community where these leaders can share where they are in leading their faith communities to embody an antiracist ethos and ran its first quarterly meeting to talk about the direction of the coalition and to check in with clergy .We offer one on one coaching sessions for faith leaders based on where they are on their anti-racist journey with their congregations, we connect faith communities to The Remembrance Projects around them, we support statewide initiatives around the removal of monuments with racist histories and the reclaiming of spaces for the marginalized communities who lived through racial terrorism.
The Greater Atlanta Coalition for Racial Justice seeks to establish a community of faith leaders committed to racial justice work with a spirit of openness and acceptance that we are all at different places on the anti-racism journey and we are willing to learn and make mistakes together. We exist to build relationships that lead us to remember and act, tell the truth through shared narratives, and build mutually accountable space, in our communities of faith. We invite you to join us in this work.
Janjay K. Innis