As a Christian, it is so hard to watch as social justice and Jesus are not often brought together in the political arena. The & Campaign is changing things. They are attempting to address the socio-political crises we face today with the compassion and conviction of the gospel. Founded by rapper Sho Baraka, they champion redemptive justice and that the urban Christian community no longer has to be sidelined. I love it.
Right now, their platform consists of changing the two most pervasive forms of institutional racism: criminal justice and education. Therefore, they advocate for grassroots organization to support criminal justice reform and full service community schools.
This week’s suggestion of how you can change the world is to organize for these needed changes. Every piece of rhetoric used by this campaign promotes POSITIVE change and redemption. To get involved, learn more, and then follow these four points of action, developed by &:
1. Organization/Due Diligence: Action without organization is chaos. We must prepare ourselves for engagement because the sociopolitical arena is complicated. We will not send our people unprepared to be about their Father’s business. Here are a few things we need to do in preparation:
a. Organize a group of believers in your church or in your circle who are ready to act.
b. Familiarize yourselves with the AND Campaign’s Criminal Justice and FSCS platform items.
c. Identify the county (and/or municipal) body and school board in the area where your church is located or the nearest underserved area.
d. Find out which days and times each of those government bodies hold their meetings.
e. Look up the public comment guidelines of each government body. By law, most local governments must allow for public comment at their meetings. You should know how to sign up for public comment and how long you’ll be allowed to speak.
2. Speak with One Voice: Groups should attend the meetings of one of the government bodies you’ve identified several times once you’re prepared. The AND Campaign will meet with you prior to you attending your first public meeting to provide you with training and messaging.
3. Convening Lawmakers: A bipartisan group of ten lawmakers has committed to sit down with AND Campaign leadership to work on solutions to our criminal justice system and education.
4. Federal Criminal Justice Reform: AND Campaign will also be partnering with other national organizations to urge our federal lawmakers to strengthen and pass the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that is now in the U.S. House of Representatives Judicial Committee.