African-American Wisdom

When you talk about hope, you have to be a long distance runner.
— Cornel West in Hope on a Tightrope

"You must lay your lives on the altar of social change so that wherever you are there the Kingdom of God is at hand!"
— Howard Thurman in A Strange Freedom

"Hatred and bitterness can never cure the disease of fear; only love can do that. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it."
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Strength to Love

Protestant Wisdom

Prayerful acts of civil disobedience seek change in laws, government, or corporate practices. Prayerful activists bring their hope and their faith that the world can be transformed in accordance with God's law and promise of justice. They acknowledge that they are part of whatever problem they are confronting and that they can become part of the solution. These activists work and pray for specific changes.
— Jane Vennard in Embracing the World: Praying for Justice and Peace

Buddhist Wisdom

When we look deeply into ourselves, we see both flowers and garbage. Each of us has anger, hatred, depression, racial discrimination, and many other kinds of garbage in us, but there is no need for us to be afraid. In the way that a gardener knows how to transform compost into flowers, we can learn the art of transforming anger, depression, and racial discrimination into love and understanding. This is the work of meditation.
— Thich Nhah Hanh in A Lifetime of Peace


Don't call names or be personally abusive. Since power is often defined as power over others — the ability to abuse or control people — it is easy to become abusive ourselves. However, we usually end up abusing people who have less power than we do because it is less dangerous. Attacking people doesn't address the systemic nature of racism and inequality.
— Paul Kivel in Uprooting Racism

Teacher Wisdom

"Race is about the American story, and about each of our own stories. . . . Understanding our own stories about race, and talking about them to one another, is absolutely essential if we are to become part of the larger pilgrimage to defeat racism in America."
— Jim Wallis in America's Original Sin

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