Race Matters: Last Week & #Ferguson

My soul has been weary reading, watching, praying, and going from one emotional extreme to the other as I have watched the events transpire in #Ferguson over the past few days.

The facts that we know concerning this incident: For those who are not aware, on Saturday, August 9 a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed an unarmed 18 year old in Ferguson, Missouri, and the victim’s body was left lying in the streets for at least four hours. This African American young man, Michael Brown, was initially confronted for jaywalking. An autopsy report has confirmed that Michael was shot at least six times, including four times in his arm and a fatal shot to his head. The Ferguson Police Department has placed Officer Darren Wilson on paid administrative leave, have made no charges, and has not released an incident report concerning this fatal shooting.

Chart by Scott Bateman, featured on www.huffingtonpost.com

Chart by Scott Bateman, featured on http://www.huffingtonpost.com

 

What has happened since the incident: In spite of some reports, most of the citizens of Ferguson have shown up for days to exercise their right for freedom of assembly and they have been peaceful. Those protests have been met with infringement on those rights as police have used tear gear and rubber bullets against men, women, and children. Some of these scare tactics and imposed curfews have been received as oppressive by citizens who are angry at the injustice and want their voices heard. Some of them have retaliated, which unfortunately has caused some peaceful people to also suffer. #Ferguson has caused an uprising all across the country and the world!

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A Rising Voice of Reconciliation in the Evangelical Community

I saw so pumped to interview Trillia Newbell for UrbanFaith Magazine! Trillia is the author of United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity. Check out our interview below:

We were honored to include a book review of African American writer,Trillia Newbell’s first book titled,United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity. At UrbanFaith, we want to highlight and champion the work of African-American artists in the Christian community. However, we also want to give you the chance to know them. We are excited for the doors of opportunity we see opening for Trillia and are praying that God continues to use her as a voice of reconciliation and redemption in the church.

Natasha: You are a rising voice in evangelical leadership, writing and speaking for such organizations as The Gospel Coalition (TGC)the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), and The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) for the Southern Baptist Convention. How did you come to this place of ministry and what do you feel is your contribution to the relevant conversations of the church at this critical point in history?

Trillia: I went to the first TGC women’s conference in 2012 and met then editor, John Starke, who invited me to write for TGC. I then began working rather closely with Collin Hansen who helped guide me. From there, interactions began with other organizations likeDesiring God and Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics. I was invited to contribute single articles and have been writing for various organizations and publications ever since.

I was surprised to receive a note from Owen Strachan about his interest in me as lead editor for the women’s blog at CBMW, but I was happy to do it. I wanted to contribute to the conversation on womanhood and prayed I could bring varied voices together. As far as the ERLC, Phillip Bethancourt approached me about joining their team as the Consultant for Women’s Initiatives. Dr. Russell Moore, President of the ERLC, and Dr. Bethancourt were assembling a team of Christians who had strong convictions but weren’t dogmatic about it…in other words, I think they were looking for gracious, loving, thoughtful believers who could write and speak to these topics.

I imagine that one thing I bring to the table is femininity, so to speak. Traditionally, these organizations haven’t had women in leadership and so to include women in some form is phenomenal. I’d also hope to bring a fresh perspective. I am female and I am also Black and therefore, I might be able to address issues and topics from an angle they may not have previously considered. I also love the gospel. This last point isn’t new to their organizations or unique to any of their writers, yet I hope and pray that with my contributions, I can share my heart and open doors for others to know and hear the Good News in everything I do.

So, how did I come to this place of ministry? I would say the Lord. God has given me opportunities to speak in areas I wouldn’t have asked for or imagined. I am truly grateful!

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Book Review: United ~ Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity

United-coverAs you know, I’m taking a sabbatical to rest this summer. One of the things I will do during my time off is reading. So, you can still expect to read book reviews from great writers. I’m primarily focusing this summer’s reading on books written by or about women. I am pleased to announce that my first summer review on author, Trillia Newbell’s new book, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity, is now published at UrbanFaith online magazine.