The Young Adult Leadership of the AME Church speaks out against injustice and
encourages individual and collective action.
To our young adult AME family, in this Advent season we celebrate the fruit of the spirit, hope, yet many of us have heavy hearts after the announcement of the grand jury’s decision in not indicting Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson and also the grand jury decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who choked Eric Garner to his death. The questionable prosecution of these cases, the manifestations of institutional racism, the grave castigation of the people of Ferguson and New York, all demand that we cry out for justice and change. We are grateful to the Council of Bishops and the Social Action Commission for speaking out and articulating a vision for our Church in a time such as this.
As the young adult leadership of the AME Church we encourage our constituency to see this moment of injustice as an opportunity for us to walk out the faith
that we passionately profess. For us, this issue comes “close to home.” Mike Brown was 18 years old. His mother was also a young adult. Eric Garner was in his
early 40s. It is a time like this that we are reminded of why our Zion was founded and our core principle of social action. Now is the time that we must come together as young adults to realize our collective power. Now is time for young adults of the AME Church to stand for something greater than our individual selves. This is the time for us to stand up and be the voices for those whose voices have been oppressed and silenced. It is time that we push ourselves, our ministries, and our churches to walk out the liberating ministry of Jesus Christ. The time is now for peaceful yet powerful protests to show our open dissent and demand that the voices of Mike Brown,
Tamir, Tamika, McKenzie, and Eric are heard and not dismissed as their bodies were by those that saw them
We encourage our fellow young adults to take action.
Use the creativity and innovation that is a strength of our group to find ways to engage with our surrounding communities around the issues that have been highlighted by the events in Ferguson, Missouri. We recommend the following action steps and petition that all levels incorporate them into programming for the duration of
the 2012-2016 quadrennium:
1) Hold workshops and trainings to discuss engaging with law enforcement
2) Conduct civic education classes to spread information about our rights as citizens, and the resources available to address police abuse
3) Use social media outlets to speak out and communicate how we are addressing these issues and invite people to join in our ranks
4) Partner with our seasoned members to facilitate intergenerational discussion and ministry regarding the various ways structures of oppression are affecting our people
5) Find ways to connect with young adults who are not in our churches to find out what needs are present that our churches can begin to address
We stand with our church leadership to follow the example of leadership of a young adult named Richard Allen who believed in a church that challenges sources
of oppression and dares to believe that the United States should live up to its creed of “Liberty and justice for all.”
Let us stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of Ferguson as we recognize that they are part of us and
we are part of them. Let us not become comfortable in places or spaces of privilege as our privilege is only of worth if it serves as a platform to challenge the status quo. We are change agents. We are children of God.
We are Christians. We are AMEs. Let us walk in our calling to speak life to a dying world, a world that is not only dying but is being murdered at the hands of prejudice
and through the bullets of bigotry.
Yours in Christian Service and Community Activism,
Felecia Commodore - Young Adult Representative Connectional Lay Organization
Martinique Mix - President
Connectional Richard Allen Young Adult Council (RAYAC)
Erica Austin - Member At Large, YWI
Women’s Missionary Society of the AMEC (WMS-AMEC)
Jon Ingraham - President
Connectional Young People’s Division (YPD)