An Update on Year 2 Plans
Today we were excited to be re-launching our Faith In/And Democracy initiative, a program that encourages people to come together. This initiative articulates its values as humility, curiosity, empathy, respect, dignity, and love. This project remains as important as ever.
But people, especially people of color and Black communities, are suffering. We will push the work forward, but not today. Today we stand with our neighbors and commit to doing our small part to clear the way in hopes their voices will be heard. So, in light of the ways the global pandemic and systemic racism are disproportionately impacting communities and democracy, we are postponing the initiative’s launch and will update this website and our newsletter with details as we have them.
This week, we passed the grim milestone of 100,000 lives lost to COVID-19 in the U.S. People like Romi Cohn who “saved 56 Jewish families from the Gestapo” and Sherman Pittman who “dedicated his life to his church and his neighborhood.” The loss is incalculable. The burden of it is also disproportionate.
Last week, George Floyd was killed. On the very raw heels of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery being killed. This weekend, people across America cried out for justice. The majority through peaceful, pain-stricken protest.
This refrain—a version of which is present in many faith traditions—feels grounding as we consider our responsibility in this moment…
Perhaps counter-intuitively, the best way to do this—now—is to pause. Ever so slightly. Not to be silent or to delay our action, but to honor the pain, grief, and tragedy so many are feeling and to wrap their dignity in our empathy, respect, and love. We will push the work forward, because we believe it is important, critical to our civic health, and the right work to do. But to do that absent of acknowledging the moment that this work sits in, does not honor the work or the divine humanity of our suffering neighbors.
So we will wait a few days. The world may or may not be any more settled then, and to be sure, the challenges will still be present. But today is not the day.
Today we mourn. And pray. And recommit ourselves to the purpose and the action it requires. Of all of us.
To stay updated on the progress and learnings of Faith In/And Democracy’s pilot year, please visit here.
*Sign up for our newsletter to get the announcement as soon as it’s live—likely during the week of June 8.