How can the religious community in America influence social change? Najuma Smith-Pollard, program manager of the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, joined Ruth Messinger, former president and current global ambassador of American Jewish World Service, and Ani Zonneveld, founder and president of Muslims for Progressive Change, for a discussion hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
In this excerpt from the webinar, Smith-Pollard reflected on the role she sees the American religious community playing in bringing about social change in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
What I believe religion’s place in this is to help guide communities through looking at the systemic problem from a theological standpoint. Because it’s not just about the individual murder, it’s really about the systemic problem and what does—in my case as a Christian—what does the Bible say about systemic issues that affect the day-to-day lives of individuals, and then what does God say about that, so that I’m able to help my community interpret the times and then how to move forward.