Released To The Press
Georgia Interfaith Public Policy Center
Statement Against Racism and Violence
ATLANTA — The Georgia Interfaith Public Policy Center condemns racial violence and racism in all forms.
We bear witness to the profound outrage, horror, and trauma following the inhumane murder of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25, 2020, the killing of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick on February 23, 2020, and the violence sustained by our brothers and sisters of color throughout the history of this state and country rooted in systemic racism.
Whereas, we recognize that these acts stem from centuries of racial violence against innocent, unarmed black and brown men, women, and children in this country to uphold systems of white supremacy.
Now Therefore, we specifically call for the passage, without amendment, of Georgia House Bill 426, also known as The Hate Crimes Bill.
We recognize that the violence of white supremacy became institutionalized with the enslavement and exploitation of Africans and people of African descent. We believe the chronicity of this violence is located in the institution of slavery which demeaned those made in the image of God to property.
We further recognize that the violence of white supremacy continues to be perpetuated in policies and practices that inflict undue suffering and harm to communities of color.
We recognize that the violence of white supremacy stretches back to the founding of this country. We recognize that the violence of white supremacy began with the genocide of Indigenous Nations inhabiting this land.
We believe this is a defining moment when we, as people of faith and good will, cannot stand by in silence. We must stand up and speak out. We pray for all individuals, families, and communities enduring pain, sorrow, rage, and shock due to the impact of racial violence. We believe that faith leaders have a unique responsibility and a sacred mandate to lift up the dignity and value of all human beings.
We recognize that all faiths believe in justice and therefore we call on people of all faiths and good will to join us in advocating systemic changes to dismantle institutionalized racism. This tragedy makes it even more urgent for us to draw closer together as partners across all religions, races, and ethnicities to fight for justice and equality.
Further, we condemn the use of violence against peaceful protesters and the misuse of the symbols of any faith, not for justice or peace, but for propaganda and partisan posturing.
We declare our commitment to achieving racial justice and equity in the State of Georgia.
- Hilton M. Austin, Jr., Chair of the Board of Directors
- Rabbi Peter Berg, Chief Rabbi, The Temple, Director
- Ann Cramer, Board Secretary
- Robert B. Currey, Founder, Currey & Company, Inc., Director
- Chester Fontenot, Jr., PhD, Baptist Professor of English and Director of the African American Studies, Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, Director
- Soumaya Khalifa, Executive Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau, Director
- The Reverend Shelli Latham, Pastor, Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, Director
- The Venerable Carole Maddux, Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, and Executive Director, Georgia Interfaith Public Policy Center
- John Moeller, Executive Director, Inspiritus, Director
- David Marmins, Partner, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, Director
- Howard Mosby, Senior Vice President, Grady Healthcare System, Atlanta, Director
- Brenda Joyce Smith, Independent Scholar, Director
- The Reverend Kevin Strickland, Bishop, Southeastern Synod, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Director
- The Reverend Taryn Strauss, Senior Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Director
- The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright, Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Director
The Georgia Interfaith Public Policy Center is focused on “Uniting Georgia’s people of faith to educate, empower and advocate for the common good.” The Center is led by faith leaders from across the state of Georgia. Learn more at www.gippc.org