The LIVE FREE Campaign is a faith-based movement to organize local communities across the country to reduce gun violence and end mass incarceration, and to generate the public and political will nationally to end the institutions and policies that contribute to the dehumanization of black and brown Americans.
The Body serves as a double entendre describing two ways we can show up. As institutions of black faith, can we re-imagine our congregations as more than a house for weekly worship? Can we embrace the notion of our institutional Body as power bases of black and brown power and agency that can be leveraged to invent a future for our families that see the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven? Can we preach, pray and act in ways that disciple our congregants to be open and willing to put their personal Body in the fight for freedom through principled nonviolent direct action or mentoring or any form of physical engagement?
Our Ballot could be utilized as a tool of accountability for elected officials and political interests who for too long have failed to respond with the requisite response that matches the depth and complexity of suffering in black and brown communities through mass criminalization & incarceration, police brutality and state-sponsored violence. Can black faith incubate and unleash the moral outrage necessary to inspire sustained engagement in electoral and political engagement? This means regular social justice ministries committed to civic engagement, organizing and advocacy must be prioritized and resourced in our ministries. I believe black faith overflowing from neighborhood-based congregations can catalyze and sustain local political engagement between election cycles since all politics is really local.
Our Buck gives us an opportunity to harness the trillions of dollars in economic wealth, which flows through our communities. Our faith can mine the theological and moral values of our traditions to critique the dominant and excessive spirit of materialism and unfettered capitalism grinding our communities into dust. We can sustain a rhythm of boycotts and economic interruptions that are targeted to demonstrate the power of wealth already at our disposal. Faith institutions can channel business and parishioners to minority and women-owned businesses to keep our wealth circulating in our communities. We must seek to provide structure for a sustainable movement. Showing up through our Buck would increase more access to jobs, entrepreneurship, opportunities and self-sufficiency, all the while alleviating economic poverty in our communities.