Little Lights Urban Ministries’ Executive Director and Founder, Steve Park, shares his response following the recent violence and domestic terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.
While Little Lights is primarily a direct service ministry to underserved children, youth, and families in DC, we are also an organization committed to racial unity and reconciliation. We actually made racial reconciliation an explicit part of our mission statement in 2015.
At Little Lights we believe in the power of unity to create positive change, but we also know that there cannot be true unity without justice.
For that reason, I want to both personally and as the President and Executive Director of Little Lights unequivocally denounce and condemn the racism and world view of white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-nazis and the alt-right, as well as the violence and domestic terrorism that occurred this weekend in Charlottesville, VA. I also want to mourn the murder of Heather Heyer and the accidental deaths of two officers in the helicopter crash, as well as pray for the 19 who were injured.
As a ministry, one of our core beliefs is that all people, regardless of skin color, physical appearance, or ethnicity, are made in the image of God and are of equal worth to God (Genesis 1:27). There is a sacredness to the human soul. We, as an organization, stand against all forms of racism and racial hatred because it stands in direct opposition to the truth that each person bears the image of God.
We have so much to lament in our history when it comes to this sin of racism, and this weekend was just the latest chapter in this sorrowful narrative.
I don’t believe that we will have true peace and true shalom unless we are willing to pay the price of discomfort and redemptive agony. That is what it will take to address and lament the history of racism in our nation and in the Church and the incomprehensible pain this sin has caused.
This is why Little Lights is committed to continuing the Race Literacy class that we started in 2016 to better educate our stakeholders and others who want to learn about this invented social construction we call race. Together we aim to have meaningful and sometimes uncomfortable, yet redemptive, dialogue about race and racial history in a diverse setting. Our next 11-week class will start October 11th, I hope you will consider joining us.
If we are going to be peacemakers in our world and an active part of the solution, we must learn more about this destructive creation called race and build reconciling, honest relationships that transcend tribalism and homogeneity and superficiality.
Please pray with me for God to usher in racial justice and to teach us the type of lament that leads to true healing and reconciliation in our nation. Please also pray with me for all those who are connected to Little Lights, including our students, so that we may be the light in the midst of the darkness.
Executive Director & Founder
If you’re interested in learning more about the Racial Literacy class that will be offered this fall contact Steve Park at email@example.com.