Bishop Harry Jackson Hosts Vice President Pence for Listening Session with Black Faith & Community Leaders
NEWS PROVIDED BY
A. Larry Ross Communications
June 5, 2020
BELTSVILLE, Md., June 5, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- Following the unjust death of George Floyd and a week of protests and violence, Vice President Mike Pence and Executive Director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Scott Turner today joined Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, and author of the forthcoming book "A Manifesto: Christian America's Contract with Minorities," for a listening session with a select group of Black and minority leaders representing churches, businesses, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.
The Vice President addressed attendees with brief opening remarks, noting his main goal during the event was to listen and learn.
"I couldn't help but feel that as our nation reels from the tragic death of George Floyd, that a place to start a conversation is a place of worship. It's the wellspring of our nation's strength. It's been the wellspring of our national unity and our steady march toward a more perfect union," Pence said. "It will not be enough for us just to heal our economy. We have to heal that which divides by breaking down the barriers to opportunity for African Americans and any American that's been left behind, so I'm anxious to gain your insights."
Jackson, who through The Reconciled Church movement has been actively engaged for many years in leading conversations and working with faith leaders to heal racial divides, equated the current climate following Floyd's death to the events surrounding the 1955 death of Emmett Till, which led to the start of the civil rights movement.
"His death was almost prophetic and symbolic of a time and season that change had to come. Black and Whites came together to address the civil rights movement, and we found momentum. I think we will similarly find momentum during this time," said Jackson.
Jackson noted that as a diverse nation, it is vital that every American feel loved and accepted. He stated this is not solely the role of government but requires all three sectors of our country – government, business and church – uniting together.
"Minorities need to hear that they are valued and that the lives of people really matter," Jackson said. "It's not just George Floyd's death alone. His death is representative of the nearly 400-year history of challenges we've had ... This administration didn't create this problem, but it has the opportunity to help us heal."
Following opening remarks, a select group offered personal reflections of their own experiences as minority leaders, fathers, educators, business owners and citizens as well as insight into a way forward. The representative voices provided input regarding a number of issues, including:
- Ensuring Black youth feel heard and acknowledged;
- Encouraging leaders of faith to use their platforms to address race;
- Increasing funding and resources for Historically Black Colleges and Universities;
- Tackling criminal justice reform; and
- Providing more practical, hands-on training, evaluation and accountability for police officers.
Pence assured those present the Administration is working with a commitment for equality in our nation, while mourning with those who mourn and grieving with those who grieve. He also expressed support for the right to peaceful protest, explaining that is why forces were mobilized to make space for peaceful demonstrations so voices can be heard.
"My prayer is that we as a nation have ears to hear, to listen to one another, with open hearts," said Pence.
Video of the event can be seen on the White House YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zJroldWSNA.
About Bishop Harry Jackson
In addition to serving as Senior Pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, Bishop Harry Jackson is one of the chief conveners of The Reconciled Church: Healing the Racial Divide Movement; an effort to heal the racial division first in the church and then the nation. He is also founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC), which has become an agent of healing for our nation by educating and empowering churches and community leaders to make grassroots improvements in their communities, states and our nation. He is also author of a number of books, including "A Manifesto: Christian America's Contract with Minorities," releasing August 18, 2020, from Whitaker House. For more information, visit harryjacksonministries.com.
About Hope Christian Church
Hope Christian Church located in Beltsville, Maryland, is a multiethnic, intergenerational congregation of people from all walks of life and 23 nations. Led by Bishop Harry Jackson, the church's mission is to turn the hearts of youth and families to God and each other, help believers develop their God-given potential in order to win in every area of our lives and advance the Kingdom of God, first through circles of influence then to the nations abroad. For information, visit thehopeconnection.org.
SOURCE A. Larry Ross Communications
CONTACT: Kristin Cole, 615-289-6701