Over the last few months, there has been a flood of events that have awakened many people to the need for change and racial justice across America. Protesters have filled the streets of cities across the country. After the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, many people are finally rising to action and demanding that their voices are heard.
“While the protests have resulted in initial steps towards justice and reform of policies in some areas, there is still much work to be done”, says Jason Webb – Milwaukee based pastor and an advocate of racial reconciliation. As people begin to go back to work, school, and their daily lives, they must use their voices from the streets to make a change in their communities. Beyond protests, action must be taken in classrooms, job structures, and industries as a whole.
These changes require more than just a voice; they also require resources that are often scarce to accomplish the goal. In one of his interviews, Jason Webb remarked that if he had unlimited resources, he would fight and break down system injustice. “I live in Milwaukee which is one of the most segregated cities in America. I would love to use unlimited resources to bridge the economic gap between African Americans, Caucasians, Latinos, Asians… I’d love to see the educational gap in our city to be closed as well. Milwaukee is ranked as the worst city for African American males to grow up in, so I’d love to put resources towards that and to change that story.”
It is especially vital during this time that leaders within the church step up and support justice and reconciliation. Historically, the church has always given a voice to those who are kept silent and has stood up for communities that need it the most. In moments of crisis, people look to the Church for direction. Church leaders must stay true to the word and seek justice, even if it isn’t a convenient or easy thing to do. As Isaiah 1:17 states, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.”
One of the ways to racial reconciliation, as Mr. Webb suggests, is to find a way to relate to friends, neighbors, and peers of color. While many assume or believe that they have at least one friend of color if pushed to dig deeper, that connection appears to be superficial. Instead, people ought to focus on how to develop a stronger relationship, a friendship, with people of color in their community.
Listening and engaging in conversation makes the topics of racial justice and racial reconciliation more human, as people can begin to associate faces, stories, and names with topics that once may have been theoretical in nature. Being able to resonate with stories empowers others to take a stand and rise up against the injustice that is prevalent and help voices be heard.
About Jason Webb
Jason Webb is a Milwaukee-based pastor and public speaker. Currently, he is a Team Manager and Groups Director for Great Lakes Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Before this, Mr. Webb has established and led multiple churches and non-profit organizations, both domestically and internationally. Jason Webb is an experienced entrepreneur, movement leader, and an advocate for racial reconciliation.