With the erratic backlash to the outcome of the 2020 Federal Election in state legislatures that has resulted in voter suppression laws, prohibitions on teaching a complete picture of history, and a permit-less gun carries law; the need is more evident that the hands of time and progress are being turned back. It is now apparent that the Black Church must rise to the occasion and heed the words of Proverbs 31:8-9, “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
The Drum Major of Justice, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is noted to have said, “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” As faith leaders, we recognize the wars on several fronts – some physical and others more subversive. We also realize the difference between peace and silence. We refuse to remain silent.
Therefore, it is the resolve of the Steering Committee of the African American Clergy Collective of Tennessee (ACCT) to organize African American Clergy and clergy organizations across the state of Tennessee to advocate in the interest of four issues directly impacting the communities we serve: Criminal Justice Reform/ Policing, Education, Healthcare, and Civic Engagement.
We seek to mobilize clergy and the congregations we serve to be the moral voice in the public life of our state. Our advocacy, prophetic witness, partnership with historic civil rights organizations, collaboration with elected officials, and even direct action is necessary to help shape the public discourse and policy that will continue the creation of a more just and equitable Tennessee.