The Prophetic Resistance Podcast travels the country to talk to our beloved community of freedom-fighters, justice-seekers and faith leaders. We are asking how - in this moment - leaders of faith and moral courage can cultivate prophetic resistance rooted in revolutionary love.
Episode 58: Rev. Jen Bailey
Today’s guest is Rev. Jen Bailey, an ordained minister, public theologian, and national leader in the multi-faith movement for justice. She is also the founder and executive director of the Faith Matters Network, a Womanist-led organization equipping community organizers, faith leaders, and activists with resources for connection, spiritual sustainability, and accompaniment. This episode explored the life cycles of justice work, the need for seasons of rest, the lost art of letter writing and Jen’s new book titled To My Beloveds: Letters on Faith, Race, Loss and Radical Hope. The book is available for purchase here.
Episode 57: Valarie Kaur
As we mark 20 years since 9/11, we are releasing an episode that we first recorded with Valarie Kaur in 2020, after the launch of her book, See No Stranger. The book is both a practical guide to changing the world and a very personal and communal chronicle of our lives since 9/11. And the paperback just dropped. This week, our host Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews joined Valarie, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Sr. Simone Campbell and many others in honoring Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh-American who was murdered in a hate crime in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He was a businessman, a family man and a beloved friend to Valarie. She will tell you that it was his death that sparked her activism. And she will tell you that Americans still have a lot to learn about the decades-long impact of 9/11 on people of color. So listeners, tune into this episode to hear Valarie’s reflections in her own words.
Episode 56: Dr Leah Gunning Francis
This August - and every August - Michael Brown, Jr. and Ferguson, Missouri are heavy on my mind. August 9th was the anniversary of Mike’s death to police-sanctioned violence. My flesh recalls the uprising that followed and the demands of young activists that those of us in faith leadership positions show up in the streets of Ferguson, and stand up for all Black Lives.
As we navigate through a global pandemic; and as the weight of police-sanctioned murder of Black people still presses on us - Ferguson is still teaching us. This podcast was born out of our experiences in Ferguson and one of our earliest guests was Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, author of the book "Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community.” This week, we are re-releasing my conversation with Dr. Leah.Dr. Gunning Francis’s new book “Faith after Ferguson” was released on August 17th. We invite you to check out her new book and to revisit this conversation with Dr. Leah Gunning Francis.
Episode 55: Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes
Our guest today is Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, author of I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation, and Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength, and contributor to the book A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal.
Dr. Barnes, is a clinical psychologist, public theologian, ecumenical minister, and university and seminary professor. In this episode, she talks with Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews about her call to ministry and centering the stories and experiences of Black women. She challenges “good Christians” to wrestle with their complicity in racism. And she reminds us that racial reconciliation starts with actually doing the hard work of healing and justice. We invite you to listen to this conversation with Dr. Barnes and to read her books. Wherever we sit on the race, gender, faith, or movement spectrums, Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes has a word of wisdom for all of us.
Episode 54: Robert P. Jones
Our guest is Robert P. Jones, the CEO and Founder of Public Religion Research Institute, and the author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity,” as well as, “The End of White Christian America. Robby's research, analysis and storytelling unpacks the history of the institutional white church in the production of white supremacy in our culture.
Robby and Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews I talked about Fredrick Douglass, James Baldwin, and their respective Georgian roots. And they talked about the specific responsibility that our white kindred have to disrupt the power of white Christian religion to perpetuate and produce white supremacy. Disruption is uncomfortable, but it is a necessary catalyst toward a reimagined Beloved Community. So we invite you into this conversation and encourage you to hang on for a special announcement. Show Notes: Learn more at https://www.prri.org/
Episode 53: Breathe Again
Breathe Again is a mid-season reflection by Prophetic Resistance host Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews. As the weight of the pandemic causes our collective pendulum to swing from chaos to calm and we search for sure footing in a world colored by so many “new normals,” this short recording encourages us to meditate, reflect and feel all the feelings. It a reminder to breathe.
Some of the most important discussions for religious communities today are being held on this podcast. If you need inspiration, information, or just a reminder that the vital work of redemption is still being done in this chaotic and dreary world, this is the podcast for you.