Andrea Ayvazian: Make ‘Ferguson’ a movement, not just a moment


by Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian
from her Dec. 15 column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette

Over the past few weeks, I have been part of several gatherings to respond to Ferguson — now the code word for institutional racism in American society. These have included a large protest in downtown Northampton, a meeting of clergy who lamented and prayed, a dismantling racism workshop at church and a circle of friends who talked about grief, sorrow and redoubling our efforts to combat racism and injustice.

In every one of the gatherings, people have asked some version of the same questions: How could we be here again, or still? Doesn’t this pain and struggle feel horribly familiar? Haven’t we moved forward at all over the last 50 years? Why haven’t we, as a nation, made more progress? 

Like everyone else at these meetings, I have wrung my hands with despair. Then this week, I spoke with the Rev. Da Vita McCallister, a pastor and anti-racism educator in Connecticut, who helped me understand what is happening. Rev. McCallister offered this metaphorical story to illuminate the tenacity and durability of racism in this country.

Read the rest of her column here.

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