Lansing Pastors Respond to Mayor Schor on Matters of Racial Justice and Equity
Local pastors question the legitimacy of the Mayor’s Racial Justice and Equity Alliance
[LANSING, MI] – Despite Mayor Andy Schor’s public commitment to “root out the underlying causes of today’s inequities,” with claims of being “inspired by input from the community,” a growing number of Lansing’s religious leaders are making it clear that the community has not been consulted by the Mayor’s Inner-Faith Council nor the Mayor’s Racial Justice and Equity Alliance (MRJEA).
Racial inequities exist throughout every system that continues to inflict harm on the BIPOC community. No community work can be done in the areas of racial equity when things are kept confidential and controlled by the Mayor and his staff, via NDA’s. This automatically blocks any type of communication and erodes community trust. The community deserves and demands full transparency from those elected and appointed.
Mayor Schor’s appointment of this commission has failed to build trust with those who are harmed the most by racism in the Lansing community. MRJEA does not speak for the community nor the organizations that serve the marginalized of the Lansing community. During the MRJEA call, the poor of our community were not even mentioned. The voices of these under-represented communities far outnumber those that the MRJEA claims to account for.
“We are out here in the streets every day servicing the needs of our community,” explains Pastor DJ Knox, one of the spokespersons for a growing number of Pastors who are members of other community service organizations, and Quad-Chair of the Michigan Poor People’s Campaign. “Long before the formation of the MRJEA, solutions were presented to Mayor Schor’s administration.”
“The MRJEA’s work is a duplication of work other grassroots organizations throughout our community have already established,” says Pastor Holland. The people have not had the opportunity to voice the real concerns of the community, nor were they given an uninhibited outlet to do so during the MRJEA call today. “It’s very unfortunate that the MRJEA’s socially accepted thought and practice show how interwoven racism is in this culture, in the Schor mayoral administration, and in the society we live in today.”
“We are committed to the work of racial justice and equality. No community is safe under an administration that upholds systemic racism. Local pastors are unified and are opposed to the assimilation to whitewashed and micromanaged platforms. They condemn racist systems that favor capitalism over community. “We stand against the mistreatment of the homeless, the poor, anti-Black workplace policies, over-policing, and the continual mistreatment of the disenfranchised and marginalized communities,” says the Pastors.
“We have to choose togetherness over divisiveness,” Pastor Knox reminds us. “And we do not just spotlight the issue(s) without also presenting solutions, which is joining the majority of our community in charting a complete and cohesive way forward together that involves true transparency, without the confidentiality that only causes more conflict.”