On May 25, 2020, the brutal murder of George Floyd by officer Derek Chauvin shocked a global community and served as one of the primary catalysts, along with the killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, behind the racial reckoning that has dominated our society over the past year.
A day after the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death, six Christian scholars, ministers, and activists gathered to ponder, lament, and assess the meaning of a transformative year of revolution and introspection. How has it changed us, and where does the church go from here?
Our goal for this wide-ranging one-hour webinar was to highlight the diverse voices of Christian leaders who were intimately engaged in the church's pursuit of racial justice and reconciliation. We're pleased to share this recording of the event.
THEON HILL (moderator) is associate professor of communication at Wheaton College where he researches and teaches on the intersections of race, politics, and popular culture. Currently, he is in the final stages of completing his first scholarly book, an extended study of the future of Black political rhetoric in the 21st century. He was recently named a Civil Society Fellow with the Aspen Institute. In this two-year fellowship, Theon will study community-based strategies for promoting civic dialogue in an age of division. Theon is also a cohost of From the Underside, a new podcast coming soon from Christianity Today.
REV. CECILIA J. WILLIAMS is president and CEO of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). She is passionate about connecting the ministry of local churches and neighboring community organizations with the physical, social, structural, and spiritual needs of the communities in which they are planted. Prior to leading CCDA, Cecilia served as pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis and executive minister of the Love Mercy Do Justice mission priority of the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination. She and her husband, Troy, have two adult children and reside in Minneapolis.
NOEMI VEGA QUIÑONES is a PhD student in religion and theological ethics at Southern Methodist University where she is studying Christology, race, borderland epistemology, and dialogues across difference. Noemi's immigrant and ministry background fuel her academic interests. She currently serves on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the Latino Fellowship department. Noemi is a coauthor of Hermanas: Deepening Our Identity and Growing Our Influence.
EMMETT G. PRICE III is one of the nation’s leading experts on music of the African Diaspora, Christian worship, and the Black Christian experience. A well-regarded scholar, educator, and public theologian. Dr. Price received a BA in music from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned both his MA and PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. He also obtained an MA in urban ministry leadership from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Currently, he serves as professor of worship, church, and culture and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell. He is also founding pastor of Community of Love Christian Fellowship in the Allston neighborhood of Boston.
KIMANI "KIKI" FRANCOIS is a writer, poet, rhetorician, and theo-activist. She graduated from Wheaton College in May of 2019 with a degree in communication with a concentration in rhetoric and culture. She is a Master of Divinity candidate at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Her area of focus includes theology, ethics, social justice, Black womanhood, and clergy leadership. She is the host of a successful podcast, Kiki’s Korner: Where Biblical Principles Meet Culture. She wrote this article on violence against Black women for Intersected.
TROY JACKSON is the state strategies director for Faith in Action. In 2015, he joined a team at Crossroads Church in Cincinnati to develop Undivided, a racial reconciliation program that has engaged over 5,000 people since 2016. Prior to that, he served as lead pastor of University Christian Church in Cincinnati. Jackson holds a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a doctorate in US history from the University of Kentucky. He's the author of Becoming King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Making of a National Leader. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife, Amanda, and their three children, Jacob, Emma, and Ellie.
For more information on pursuing racial justice and healing, our panelists recommend these resources and organizations:
The Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) is a network of Christians committed to seeing people and communities wholistically restored.
LivingUNDIVIDED is a six-week multi-racial experiential journey in pursuit of racial solidarity and justice.
Faith In Action
Faith in Action is a national community organizing network that gives people of faith
Intersected’s mission is to empower actions that promote racially equitable communities, making everyday heroism more accessible.
Sub:Culture is a college outreach ministry dedicated to removing the barriers that impede Black students from academic success and spiritual wholeness.
Be the Bridge
Be the Bridge is a Christian ministry that empowers people and organizations toward racial healing, equity, and reconciliation.
Also, check out this CT news report on how suburban Minneapolis churches have responded to the call for racial healing in the year since George Floyd's death.