by Cecilia Vasquez, Communications Manager, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity
“I do not think of political power as an end. Neither do I think of economic power as an end. They are ingredients in the objective that we seek in life. And I think that the end of that objective is a truly brotherly (and sisterly) society, the creation of the beloved community.”—Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1966
This month we honor the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of achieving racial and social justice through faith-rooted organizing. Often his faith and spiritual nonviolent campaigns and organizing are lost in textbooks and secular accounts. In our event, “Radical King, and Prophetic Voice” we brought to the forefront that his faith beliefs were at the core of his organizing and radical vision.
At Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, faith and spirituality are at the foundation of our organizing. Faith-rooted organizing is more than engaging individuals and congregations as a base but centers spiritual values in every step of community organizing. It means centering and practicing our spiritual values as we create systemic social change. It comes from a place of love and is centered in the sacred. It reminds us to honor the humanity in everyone, Yes, everyone! Faith-rooted organizing demands that we have integrity between our means and our end goals, because process matters. Simply winning a campaign is insufficient transformation, and beloved community is what we truly desire. Faith-rooted organizing utilizes the unique gifts and liberating traditions of faith communities as a part of larger movements. We see and put to use the gifts that everyone has to offer in social movements. Faith-rooted organizing taps into ancient symbols, moral teachings, and spiritual practices that come from a place of love that replenishes the spirit to continue in the movement.
We believe that all people are sacred across bars and borders. This means centering the experiences of those most impacted by policies of incarceration and immigration. We honor their pain, care for their spirit, and support their leadership. We achieve this by offering programming that walks alongside people on their journey from arriving to the United States, living incarcerated or in detention, and post-release support. We value programming that fosters leadership to those closest to the problem and people of faith. Together we are guided by values of solidarity and compassion, advocating for new and just solutions. Together we realize community transformation as we dismantle the ways people of color are criminalized through our carceral and immigration systems.
We create ongoing spaces to learn about structural racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness in the United States. We engage in the difficult and necessary conversations to assure we are practicing integrity in our journey towards beloved community.
Be part of our Faith-Rooted Organizing on the ground today or sign up for an upcoming Faith-Rooted Organizing Training, as we hold them annually! To learn more about current campaigns and how to get involved, click here.