One of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement’s alum, Pastor Michael Fisher of Greater Zion Church Family, has convened 40 pastors to take post at various major intersections around South Los Angeles, to pray and provide resources for the community — at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. We are calling this movement #Push100.
Over the summer there was a story that surfaced that various gangs had committed to kill 100 people in 100 days. A longstanding beef between gangs have fueled this foolishness. A few well known gang members and OG’s (original gangsters) have been killed along with numbers of innocent people. And there has been a surge of gang violence and homicides, which is up by 17%. As a result of all the activity, a few Murray Center alumni have been doing several things to challenge this street violence:
On July 24, I began #100DaysandNightsofPrayer. Each night at 10:00 pm, more than 40 people have joined a prayer call. We pray about various issues that impact the South L.A. community and other urban cities facing a similar plight. We have people who call in from all over the United States. We will hold this prayer call till October 31, and during that weekend host a closing event to bring everyone together; plus strategies about next steps.
Rev. BJ King has began the Let Me Live Campaign, focusing on youth and children. He has hosted two rallies and is now working on developing the Let Me Live Center to offer alternatives of learning, resources and more. Various Pastors who have been a part of Passing the Mantle or the Faith Leaders Institute have also held prayer vigils, rallies and meetings.
Now the big thing happening tomorrow night is the #Push100.
Forty pastors have been assigned to major intersections across South L.A. (I’ll be at Florence and Crenshaw). We’ll be at those intersections at 9:30pm to set-up and then from 10pm to 11pm, we’ll pray along with our congregations and friends and provide food and clothing for 100 people.
We are uniting regardless of background (denomination, gender, or race) to serve our communities and declare that we will not hide in fear of any threat. By feeding and clothing people, we hope to get into the hearts of our community and overshadow negative imagery and stereotypes with physical representation of good service and love.
Murray Center alumni participating include Michael Fisher, Sonja Dawson, Cornell Ward, BJ King, John Withers, Fred Howard, James Ray Taylor, Wendell Davis, and Terry Wilson. Fisher will be on KJLH at 5:00am with Dominique Duprima, KTLA at 8:30am and then back on KJLH at 9:15am during the Steve Harvey Morning show to talk about #Push100.
In our call this morning, Fisher told me, “My awakening came when I did that class at the Murray Center. When Pastor Murray said, “Catch on Fire and someone will come watch you burn,” that was the light bulb for me. So know that all of you there are a part of why I’m able to do this–you, Pastor Mark, Dr. Murray, and all the instructors.”
To join #Push100, you can find a flyer and the list of intersection on his church’s website.
Updated 8/31/15: Watch ABC7’s coverage of #Push100 here:
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Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard is Assistant Director of Community and Public Engagement with the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.