The conversations are tough, but key to beginning real change.
Bryan Carter, pastor at Concord Church in Dallas, who has been at the forefront of this new call to action says now is the time to get engaged and make a difference.
He says the hope and prayer for North Texas Faith leaders is that this is a tipping point that ignites a 'season of change' in our communities.
But, there are still a lot of people who are resistant to the issues right in front of us, and that's what Pastor Carter says is going to prevent us from getting to the place where we need to be.
The hope is that conversations on systemic racism end in a healthy place. He hopes real conversations are finally being had across our country, outside of the church, outside of focus groups, on what it means to be black in America.
“I really hope so. When you see the statements from corporate America you see different individuals going public, saying black lives matter and our hope is that, that it's not a cliché, our hope is that people are really open to having conversations,” said Carter.
“For the Black church, it's always been a vehicle for justice for the civil rights movement, even previously during that time, is through our faith. Through the Black church, people of color have been able to find the strength they need to keep addressing injustices. So at a time like this, it's the job of the Black church both to encourage people, but at the same time to organize, strategize, figure out how do we deal with these injustices so that we can make our world a better place,” said Carter.
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“The church has to be about improving a society. What does that mean? Police reform. How do we get involved to help reform policing and criminal justice? We’ve got to be involved to make sure every child in our city has a quality education, we need to be involved around voting for policies that help change, and make sure that every community looks and reflects the way it ought to, how we spend our dollars, economically how we invest in the community to help build the community up in a way that it needs to be built up.”
NBC 5’s Evan Anderson also asked Carter how these past few weeks have been for him, how does he stay motivated as a faith leader.
Carter says he, along with pastors from across the city of Dallas have a weekly prayer call. They're able to be transparent and talk about the issues they have as leaders, and of course, lift up one another in prayer.
It's a challenging time to be in any type of leadership role, and Pastor Carter admits it's been some long, tough days, but he's hopeful and prayerful as we move forward.