CRCC’s Najuma-Smith Pollard joined two other faith leaders, Reverend Mark Whitlock (Reid Temple A.M.E. Church) and Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson (Vice President of American Jewish University in Los Angeles), to discuss the relationships between faith, racism and action. The conversation, hosted by American Jewish University, explores the ways in which faith can contain our anger and sorrow, while also pointing us towards hope, resilience, and change.
Watch the conversation on Facebook:
In the discussion, Smith-Pollard reflects on what has changed in the 28 years since Los Angeles’ Civil Unrest following the acquittal of four police officers who beat Rodney King:
While cameras are important, I don’t think the cameras. It’s accountability. Because we’ve had cameras before. As Mark alluded to we’ve had cameras. It’s people deciding to hold someone else accountable. That is where the liberation begins, is individuals being willing to hold their counterparts accountable. Cameras actually have never helped a black person, alone. It’s people having the courage to lose whatever they got to lose to hold somebody else accountable…. It’s people standing up, willing to hold their corporations, their board members, they politicians, their friends, their neighbors accountable.
Smith-Pollard also addressed her message for this time:
The message that I’m supposed to talk about is to…as a pastor encourage my members to stay focused and to really keep our eyes on the process and the work. And not just be a pastor that, to Mark’s point, is just giving great talks, but being part the activism work. So if it’s a meeting they call me to, I’ll be there. Tomorrow I plan to be at the Breonna Taylor protest, because Black women’s narratives keep on getting lost in these kinds of times. For me, the message is to be a prophetic voice, but also to be present in using my prophetic voice and encouraging others to be present.