USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

A Declaration of Interdependence

A Declaration of Interdependence

Rev. Cecil Murray and Rev. Mark Whitlock with Kirkpatrick Tyler and Robert Park of the L.A. Mayor's Office of Public Engagement, hosts of the Day of Interdependence

A Declaration of Interdependence

A nation of nations, our actions in these troubled times must be guided by a notion of notions—let us call it “A Declaration of Interdependence.”

We were founded to be a beacon of light to all nations. This flame of hope and faith has flickered but never faded over four centuries as we have wrestled with the spiritual darkness of Native American genocide, slavery, Jim Crow and lynch mobs. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Los Angeles’ civil unrest, we acknowledge that race relations and police violence continue to cloud this light. We need one another not merely to survive but also to achieve transcendence.

Standing as the most powerful nation on the planet, we are challenged to use our power wisely and justly. God gives us this power so that we might tear down the barriers that divide us, excavate tunnels through the mountains of our historical differences, remove the clutter of prejudice that impedes our efforts to connect with one another and chart the pathways that lead to our mutual flourishing.

We are morally enjoined to share this power with the least powerful. If we do not—if we simply manipulate the levers of power to get more of what we already have in superabundance—we are indicted by the dictum of Lord Acton: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Sharing power in our community today means acknowledging our interdependence. Praise from the least powerful citizens whom police are charged to “protect and serve” is the most important measure of their success. Members of these communities, likewise, cannot paint with a broad brush all those in blue who risk their lives daily for our protection. We pray that the most vulnerable among us will no longer ask, “Who will protect us from our protectors? Who will defend us from our defenders?”

Empowering the community and wisely guiding police power are both our mandate and our inheritance as citizens of a country that cherishes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We ask everyone to endorse and broadcast this “Declaration of Interdependence.” Let our interdependence spread far and wide through our personal commitment to liberty and justice for all.

Initial Signatories

Rev. Cecil L. Murray
Mayor Eric Garcetti
Chief Charlie Beck
Councilman Marquis Harris Dawson
Councilmember David Ryu
Bishop Clement Fugh

Rev. Murray’s Declaration of Interdependence was released on April 25, 2017, at an event commemorating the 25th anniversary of Los Angeles’ civil unrest in 1992. Other signatories will be added to this page. 

To add your name, please contact us



Click here to download a printable version of the Declaration:


Cecil Murray is a university fellow with the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.