FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Austin Schuler, firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-280-3393
Black and Jewish Clergy Across Georgia Join Together During Black History Month to Fight Against Anti-CRT Bills
Bishop Reginald Jackson, “If this legislation passes, then they need to take down the statue of Martin Luther King Jr., which stands outside the statehouse.”
Atlanta, GA- On Tuesday, February 15th, Black and Jewish clergy from across the state of Georgia joined together virtually to condemn statehouse bills HB 1084, HB 888, SB 377, SB 449 and SB 266. The bills have emerged in the Georgia legislature in an attempt to punish or ban the teaching aspects of Georgia’s history from banning books to controlling how teachers are permitted to teach. Extreme Republican politicians are attempting to gain headlines and scare educators in the state.
For video of the event, click here.
Bishop Reginald Jackson, Presiding Prelate, 6th Episcopal District AME Church Georgia, Atlanta
“If this legislation passes, then they need to take down the statue of Martin Luther King Jr., which stands outside the statehouse. Isn’t the history that Black man gave his life for connected to this nation's racist past? If you’re going to teach American history, then teach all of it.”
Rabbi Lydia Medwin, Director of Congregational Engagement and Outreach, The Temple, Atlanta
“We are learning about all the stories that have not been given the air they need to breathe and to feel welcome in our country…we need all of these stories to understand the complex truths that must emerge so we can move forward and solve the biggest problems of our day. My children must learn the story of racism in America just as they have learned about the Holocaust. “
Min Shavonne Williams, Organizing Ambassador, Faith in Public Life Action, Augusta
“It is an insult to the very memory of everyone we honor for Black history to expect educators to stick their heads in the sand instead of teaching history and arming our children with the knowledge of past successes and failures so they can go on to become empathetic leaders and success stories in their own rights. The rash of bills are not at all about educating the children of Georgia. The anti-CRT, anti-history bills, the “parental bill of rights”, book banning and now even the ban of mask mandates in schools reveals our elected officials are more concerned about political power flexing than the minds of our children and the health of our children, our
educators, or their families.”
Rev. Fer-Rell Malone, Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church, CEO FRESH Communities, Waycross
“St. John, chapter eight, verse 32, says, ‘Then you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ Accordingly, we understand why there is a need to work to suppress the critical race theory. That is the same reason by which it was illegal for a black man to learn how to read. Because if you learn how to read, the truth will be revealed. And once the truth is revealed, it empowers you to become liberated. And once you become liberated in your mind, your heart and your spirit, you will become liberated the no chain can hold”
Rev. Thurmond Tillman, Pastor, First African Baptist Church, Savannah
“Where better to teach this (CRT) than in an academic setting…where there is opportunity for discussion. How do we grow from what our past is? That’s a great place to do that in an academic setting.”
Elder Willie Wiley, Pastor, Vanderhorst CME Church, Presiding Elder Augusta-Sparta District CME Church, Thomson
“Don’t make our children the pawns for your mistakes….This is the time to shout. Stop it now, in the name of Jesus, before it’s too late.”
Faith in Public Life Action is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, with a network of over 50,000 leaders, they are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level that affirm our values and the human dignity of all.