We are in Fort Smith Arkansas. Everybody
goes to Walmart on Saturday and they go to church on Sunday.
Where your faith community is, is the center of how our little small community works. And for the
most part, conservative both in white and the black parts of town.
I am a pastor, community organizer, environmentalist, social justice rabble-rouser.
I facilitate three groups: CCL, Police and Community Engagement, and then Bridges. In each one of these sort of creating a table in a space for anything that has
to do with diversity, equity, equality, social justice, environmental justice. How
we want to live in this world. My work is centered around going out into the
highways and byways and compelling people to know that there’s hope. I work in in white churches predominantly because as a woman minister, not every
black church in Arkansas is really ready to have a woman as a pastor. Conservative
evangelicals have a view of the world that one day this world is going to end.
Instead of waiting for Jesus to come back and make everything right, we need
to be doing something now. Minorities are most affected by
environmental issues. The people over in Moffett, which is still kind of reeling
from the flood and their whole neighborhoods were destroyed. We never
seen that much water, that much rain. We didn’t even know about them. We didn’t
know that their community was under water because the poverty level is so
high that they were not able to get out. And their stories weren’t covered and
because they were poor and that that makes me upset. Inter-generational conversations are
really important. Sometimes it’s just good to go to those who have been here
longer, who’ve been doing the work longer especially in the black community. Some
of the stuff they say I might not necessarily always agree with it because
there is a generational gap, but there’s no greater act of courage than
hospitality and the breaking of bread. Invite somebody over, cook their favorite
meals, and just be in that space. It is possible to live in this world and to
love someone who voted differently than you. I think anyone can do the work but
you’ve got to love the people more than you love your message.
So anybody can do the work if you’ve got love.