Remembering Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile
In the week following July 4th – a day most frequently marked by the gathering of families for communal meals followed by celebration and fireworks – there were two high profile incidents of black men being killed by police caught on video. While these incidents are symptomatic of larger issues of disparity in the treatment of black individuals by law enforcement, let us not forget Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile and the families they left behind. We are left with the image of Cameron Sterling weeping while his mother talks with news reporters. We are left with the image of Diamond Reynolds, weeping in the back of a patrol car as her 4 year old daughter tries to comfort her. Let us weep with those who weep.
How we respond at Circle of Hope
One of our driving convictions as Circle of Hope is that fomenting diversity and reconciliation is at the prophetic heart of our gospel. Two of our proverbs that we derive from that conviction are these:
- Racial reconciliation is a matter of demanding justice, not just peace.
- We will do what it takes to be an anti-racist, diverse community that represents the new humanity.
The Circle Mobilizing Because Black Lives Matter team is on the forefront of our mission to live out those proverbs.
From Candace McKinley, leader of Circle Mobilizing Because Black Lives Matter:
This summer, Circle Mobilizing is leading a group read of Drew Hart’s new book Trouble I’ve Seen as a way to lead our church deeper into a conversation about anti-racism, the Movement for Black Lives, and why the church must be engaged in this work. The group read will be followed up by a series of discussion dinners and trainings beginning in the fall of 2016 where we will be challenged to unpack the issues raised by Drew Hart’s book and move towards actionable steps to encourage our community to be actively anti-racist.
During the summer and fall of 2016, Circle Mobilizing will also be practically supporting the Movement for Black Lives in small but visible ways. In addition to attending rallies and marches, team members will be visibly giving out water and refreshments to marchers to support them during the summer heat. Circle Mobilizing will also continue to provide food and refreshments for the meetings of the Black Lives Matter Philadelphia chapter. These are small yet appreciated ways of supporting the movement and showing care for those working to advocate for Black lives.
To learn more about Circle Mobilizing, such as our upcoming meetings and how you can get involved, email us at [email protected].
Phil Walton, reporting
When Phil Walton isn’t writing blogs for the Compassion Core team, he can be found engineering software, playing games with family and friends, or engaging in his favorite hobby: home plumbing. Every second Saturday night, he hosts a game night at our space at 1125 S. Broad St.