Interfaith Partners of South Carolina (IPSC), being a very diverse organization, is heartbroken at the escalating racial division and tension within our communities. IPSC’s mission to bring together people of different religious, spiritual, and secular paths throughout our state to cultivate a more harmonious community, is more important than ever. Our work draws deeply from a shared commitment to nurturing relationships of respect, dignity and trust within our local communities.
How, then, do we work together to build harmonious community? While IPSC struggles to find the right words, we reaffirm our commitment to participate in the building process.
We are reminded that with each crisis comes multiple opportunities:
- opportunities to hear one another in the midst of pain and strife;
- opportunities to stand alongside one another in solidarity, even in the midst of social isolation;
- opportunities to learn from one another, committing to the hard work of building communities of dignity, respect and justice.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, inspired by the work of Mahatma Gandhi, confronted racial injustice through strategies of active nonviolent resistance, reasoning that, “the aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness”. Such resistance against systemic oppression requires deep courage, working toward the victory of friendship and understanding. Dr. King’s words were spoken not from a place of utopian hope or naivety, but from the experience of racial injustice and suffering.
What questions emerge within communities that continue to face the day to day consequences of racism today? How may we actively participate in the process of constructive de-escalation, in order to contribute to the building of harmonious community? IPSC will continue to work alongside partners, affiliates, and allies in the coming days. In the midst of our religious and racial diversity, may we draw strength from one another.