Emerging Voices Blog

Emerging Voices Blog

Please Do Not Dress Up for Halloween in Blackface, Brownface, or Yellowface; Don’t Be Stupid

Please don’t dress up in a blackface, yellowface, brownface, or any other costumers that stereotype, denigrate, or mock another culture. Don’t caricature another real culture. Why? Because we’re a culture and not a costume.

Ohio 'Voter Fraud' Billboards a 'Perversion of Truth'

The word "fraud" is on billboards around Ohio. I started noticing this a few weeks ago, when I was driving through a working class African American community in Cleveland and noticed a billboard that read: "Voter Fraud is a Felony: 3 1/2 years & $10,000 fine."

Thou Shalt Follow These 10 Commandments for the Presidential Election

Since there’s sure to be drama this week and next following the debates — and each day leading up to Election Day on Nov. 6, and likely some weeks afterward — I thought I’d share with you my 10 Commandments of the Election Season for Christians in hopes that it might speak some balance, sense, and perspective.

Jazz Fusion — Like It Or Not

There are many tensions in life that push and pull us in unpredictable directions. We may not like the melody of jazz fusion, but it’s a big part of life’s musical score.

Three Ds for Israel & Palestine

Several of my rabbi friends have explained to me that there are three Ds that we should keep in mind when we criticize the policies of the State of Israel as we work for justice and peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

Why Our Presidential Candidates Need a Manicure

Our presidential candidates could also benefit from an appointment at Pretty Nail Salon, to listen to the local narratives and deepen their understanding of how social policy is affecting the lives of the urban poor and working class.

The Reality of the 47 Percent

The myth that welfare and government assistance is easy to obtain and maintain has been pervasive since the 1980’s “welfare queen” character was created by President Ronald Reagan. The welfare queen much like the loch ness monster is seen by a privileged few but no one can actually prove its existence. Now we have a new mythical monster the 47 percent who are an entitled class. The reality is that our entitlement system underserves many needy individuals and families.

Introducing The Emerging Voices Project: One Vision. Many Voices.

Today, Sojourners in launching a new project called Emerging Voices, and it’s one of the most exciting things I have been involved with for a long time. It aims to mentor, develop, and promote the most dynamic up-and-coming communicators — speakers, preachers, and teachers — who so clearly are called to lead and publicly articulate the biblical call to social justice.

Poem: The New Jim Crow

On the first day of conference at 6 a.m., young leaders convened outside the convention center for a time of silent reflection on the prison system. What many may not know is that the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world and it is overwhelming inhabited by African-American men. Author Michelle Alexander calls this phenomenon the New Jim because many of these men were led to prison due to economic and racial circumstances.

Defining Justice

The church has been so poor at defining what we mean by justice over the years that we have left it to others in the media and politics to define it for us. Unfortunately they have usually defined it the wrong way. We must do a better job at getting to the heart of what God means by justice.


The Truth in Love

Turn on your television or radio in Ohio today and what do you hear? Commercials and political commentary filled with raised voices, angry voices, cynical voices and acidic voices. The prevailing wisdom is that the best way to win the day and win this election is by destroying the other. In this swing-state many believe most likely to decide the presidential election, the rhetoric can be particularly disheartening.

Why the Church is the Best Place for a Pussy Riot

As a faith-based community organizer, I spend a great majority of my time trying to get political issues into the church so that the gospel can be relevant to the reality of those on and off the pews. Therefore, I believe the best place for a “pussy riot” is the church. Although this may seem sacrilegious, here's why...

They're Not Racist. They Just Don't Know.

My sons, ages 13 and 10, spend two evenings each week on a golf course because I parent out of my own personal brokenness, which includes an acute awareness of life experiences and skills I was not exposed to growing up.

Respecting the Indigenous Hosts of This Land

In December, I will be hosting a public reading of the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. I am doing so because page 45 of this 67 page document contains a generic, non-binding apology to native peoples on behalf of the citizens of the United States.

Book Review — The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith

Through the stories of well-established intentional Christian communities, Wilson-Hartgrove offers windows into the catechisms of the Christian faith. Communion and the Eucharist, fasting, integrity, community, non-violence, and public witness each serve as windows into much deeper philosophical and theological discussions.

Ramadan Karim: Revelation

Ramadan is a time of revelation. This is what it revealed in me: I miss the devotion of my youth.

Shooting at the Family Research Council Offices

Another senseless act of violence today was targeted at the Family Research Council. A security guard is now in stable condition at a local hospital after being shot in the arm by a 28-year-old assailant. The suspect is now in custody. Multiple outlets are reporting that the young man specifically intended to attack FRC staff because of their conservative advocacy.

The Weight

Why aren’t there many chicken restaurants in neighborhoods like this? Why aren’t these wonderful shining examples of Christianity and life lining up to alleviate the suffering in these places? If we want to make statements, these would seem like the places to start making them. Jobs, healthy food, and resources to underserved neighbors seem like a worthy causes to support with our feet and our voices.

Achieving an AIDS-free Generation by Healing the International Village

The International AIDS Conference left me more convinced that if we start seeing this virus through the same lens as God, the acronym HIV takes on another meaning of Healing the International Village.

Ramadan Karim: Living Like Angels

Ramadan has stripped me bare, so that when my inner ego would usually rise up and demand recognition —something else is beginning to happen.

The Weight

In fact, why aren’t there many chicken restaurants in neighborhoods like this? Why aren’t these wonderful shining examples of Christianity and life lining up to alleviate the suffering in these places? If we want to make statements, these would seem like the places to start making them. Jobs, healthy food, and resources to underserved neighbors seem like a worthy causes to support with our feet and our voices.

Ramadan Karim: The Poor Will Be Fed

In the same way that I waited eagerly for the breaking of the Ramadan fast each night — counting it as something to celebrate — on the day Jesus comes again, we will celebrate.

Ramadan Karim: Harper Joins Imam for Islam's Monthlong Fast

Ramadan's first day of fasting began today at dawn. This year, Sojourners' Director of Mobilizing, Lisa Sharon Harper, has chosen to keep the fast during the Muslim holy month alongside our friend, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Both Lisa and Imam Feisal will be blogging regularly during the coming days and weeks of Ramadan, sharing with our readers their personal reflections on what the holy month, the fast and journeying together as a Christian and a Muslim means to them.

Is Michelle Obama a 'Missional' Christian?

Many black churches have done a better job of keeping a holistic, Monday-through-Saturday focus on their mission than some of their white counterparts. There is a lot to learn when we take the time to look at other traditions than our own.

Health Care and Judgment Day (Part 2)

One-hundred years after Teddy Roosevelt pressed for a national health care program — the Supreme Court has levied its judgment: States can opt out, but they cannot prevent the nation from offering its citizens the health and care worthy of every human being made in the image of God. What does this mean for Jesus followers?