Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Courtesy photo)

A coalition of more than 20 faith-based organizations from across the country will gather in D.C. at the National Mall on Wednesday to answer the call to heal the effects of racism.

The “Unite to End Racism” rally, organized by the National Council of Churches of Christ USA (NCC), will be held on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Organizers scheduled to have the rally on this date to launch a multi-year effort and a call to action to engage churches to revitalize Dr. King’s work towards ending racism.

“When religious leaders fail to serve the cause of racial equity they lose credibility,” said John Dorhauer, co-chair of the rally’s task force for the event and general minister and president of the United Church of Christ. “As Christians, the gospel calls us to love all God’s beautiful children without regard for race. In a day when too many actions are being taken in the name of national pride that are emboldening white supremacists and working to reverse everything Dr. King stood for, our footsteps on the streets, our voices in the halls of power, and our collective and relentless drive to end racism move us always closer to a just world for all.”

The NCC’s 38-member communions include the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AME-Z). The National African American Clergy Network is listed as one of the partners of the rally.

In a statement released on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America website, it lists three main points for the rally: awaken to the truth that racism is evil and hurts us all; confront racism through truth-telling and action to right the wrong; and transform the hearts, minds, and behaviors of people and institutions.

The rally also is supported by national Jewish and Muslim organizations that are working on social justice issues, including the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, a social justice organization of the Union for Reform Judaism with nearly 2 million supporters in North America.

Dorhauer recommended that faith leaders stand before their communities every week and speak about values, moral character and justice. They can use the power of their voice from the pulpit to call for an end to White privilege and get involved in their movement to end racism.

“It breaks my heart to be fighting the same battles today that I began fighting 40 years ago,” said Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, director of the Social Action Commission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and co-chair of the NCC’s Truth and Racial Justice Task Force. “Christians are people who believe in miracles, and I for one believe that together, we can finally end racism. With God’s help, this can be accomplished.”

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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