Paul Matsushima

Standing with George Floyd and #BLM

By Paul Matsushima | Published on June 24, 2020

The lives of our African American sisters and brothers still matter even if our news feeds have returned to normal.

The De Pree Center’s mission is to equip leaders to respond faithfully to God in all seasons of their lives and leadership, and part of this means faithfully responding to the most pressing challenges of our time. The past months have shown us two obvious challenges: adapting to the reality of COVID-19 and, as Fuller Seminary stated, joining in solidarity with the “black communities which have suffered devastation after devastation.” Much of De Pree’s recent efforts (including the resources below) are aimed at helping us respond faithfully to fears of sickness, economic insecurity, and racial inequities brought on by the coronavirus and the killings of African Americans like George Floyd.

Yet, as we see the national conversation shifting, we know that these challenges have not been solved. COVID-19 and systemic racism are still ever-present. As one viral hashtag reminded social media users recently: The lives of our African American sisters and brothers still matter “even if our news feeds have returned to normal.”

Responding faithfully to these new realities reminds me of a mantra from 12 Step programs: it’s about progress, not perfection. This is an easy idea to understand since we’ve all been there: we commit to exercising, losing weight, learning a new skill. But after time, reality, and struggle set in, we get discouraged and many of us give up. By instead focusing on progress–the small, incremental steps we take towards change–we find the motivation to keep going and sustainability for the long haul.

Today, we’re including multiple resources with these ideas in mind. God is asking us to be faithful in our lives and leadership. When it comes to the new reality of a COVID-19 world with racial injustice uncovered, how can we respond faithfully in ways that demonstrate our commitment to the long haul–rather than just follow the fads?

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