[COMM-ORG] killing of Michael Brown and community organizing

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Wed Aug 13 13:04:59 CDT 2014

[ed:  I can think of no more powerful an issue than the death of yet 
another young Black man by a gun in the hands of power.  Here is one 

"Tonesha Russell, Lifelines to Healing" <news at piconetwork.org>

Dear Friend,

It is with tears streaming down my face that I write this email to you, 
because in the killing of Michael Brown - an unarmed 18-year old 
African-American young man this past week in Ferguson, Missouri - we 
experienced a tragedy that reminds me of the frailty of the lives of our 
black and brown bodies.

Each morning I hover over my son, and say a little prayer for him. He's 
only 2 years old, but as these tragedies happen again and again I cannot 
help but fear that his future is marked with a premature expiration 
date. I do not want my son to die before me.

The story of Michael Brown and tragedies of this magnitude have become 
too commonplace. The reality is that many more young men of color who 
are nameless and faceless to us have been killed between last week and 
today. And their blood is crying out from the ground for justice.

Our desire is to respond. Respond not only with words, but with action. 
We want our sons and brothers, our sisters and daughters, to live free.

This weekend, our LIVE FREE Sabbaths will be the spaces in which we can 
respond. Where our faith is heralded as the ultimate authority on the 
value of life, and the memories of those slain are not overshadowed by 
violence. These are the spaces in which the spirit of God can rest 
peacefully upon us, giving us the strength we need to face another day.

Pledge today to help heal our nation through engaging your congregation 
in preaching, praying, and acting with our national LIVE FREE Sabbaths 
August 15-17, creating spaces of hope and healing for all of our 
communities.  [ 

My faith tells me that we have a shared responsibility to those whom God 
calls his children. We are called to see them as my God sees each one of 
us: fully human and worthy of love. Let's come together with grace and 
compassion for our brothers and sisters - and for a moment, share their 
pain, hear their stories, remember their lives.

Will you commit to engaging your congregation and community in the LIVE 
FREE Sabbaths August 15-17? [ 

Together, let us make sure that we are working to preserve the life of 
my son and yours by widening the circle of concern - by coming together 
as one body to lift up a message of hope and healing.

In Faith,


Tonesha Russell
Program Associate, Lifelines to Healing
PICO National Network

PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) is a national 
network of faith-based community organizations working to create 
innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural 
communities. Nonpartisan and multicultural, PICO National Network 
provides an opportunity for people and congregations to translate their 
faith into action.

PICO National Network - 110 Maryland Ave NE, Washington, 20002
Copyright 2014 PICO - All Rights Reserved.

PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) National Network 
is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United 
States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 
cities and towns through its 60 local and state federations. PICO and 
its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support 
candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith 
traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more 
at [ http://www.piconetwork.org ].

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