Celebrating racial justice and Black Lives Matter

Join our Pastor Obi Iheoma and our Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Team for a service celebrating racial justice and Black Lives Matter.     

The hour long service will be held at 12.30pm,  25th May and streamed via Facebook live

Share your thoughts

In addition to the service, share your thoughts and messages of support relating to racial justice, Black Lives Matter and how best to be an ally to those suffering from racial injustice. 

  • Hasan Patel
    1. At 1:40PM on 12 May 2021, Hasan Patel wrote

    In 1968 the world lost two icons of racial justice and equality, one was Martin Luther King Junior and the other was Robert Kennedy. On the day Luther King was assassinated Kennedy was about to deliver a speech as he was campaigning to win the Democratic nomination for the US Presidential elections, upon hearing about the death of Luther King, Kennedy instead said a few words and those for me always hit home what racial justice is. In his speech he said: "What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black." Those words still echo today, and especially his ending where he said: "Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

    Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people."

    We have a long way to go but if people work together then we can get there.

  • Margaret Jacobi
    2. At 8:53PM on 12 May 2021, Margaret Jacobi wrote

    I am thinking of everyone who is suffering from racial injustice, prejudice and racism. We have such a lot of work to do to make up for centuries of racism. I affirm, in words from the Jewish tradition, 'Have we not one Divine parent? Has not one God created us all?' (Mal. 2:10) and I pledge myself to challenge racism and injustice whenever I can and work for a world where Black Lives Matter and all human beings are valued and respected equally.

  • Avril Rogers
    3. At 3:01PM on 13 May 2021, Avril Rogers wrote

    A number of things have happened recently which highlight the injustices of life. These include Black Lives Matter, COVID-19 and other world wide conflicts. They have shown me that we all need to support and understand each other to enable us to live our lives harmoniously together. This means standing up to racial injustice and being able to listen and debate openly with one another.

  • Israel Tamale
    4. At 10:06PM on 16 May 2021, Israel Tamale wrote

    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Pres. Nelson Mandela. The fight for racial justice starts with education, because we cannot change what we do not know. We need to unlearn the lies that we were taught and be exposed to the reality of how we got to where we are today. We need to be trained in the ways of equity, diversity and inclusion. We need to teach the next generation from a young age how they ought to interact in society. Once we have the necessary background knowledge, we can start to work with the higher-ups to make long-lasting and impactful reform from the bottom up.

  • Daniel Stone
    5. At 3:41PM on 18 May 2021, Daniel Stone wrote

    I recently came across the Senegalese word 'Teranga'. Poorly translated into 'hospitality', it actually means something deeper about community, respect and solidarity. A better understanding of the word is the concept that 'the more one gives, the more our bowl will be plentiful.' To be loving illuminates our hearts and brightens our existence. Those who choose to hate will remain in darkness and their bowls will be empty.

  • Sandev Panaser
    6. At 1:57PM on 20 May 2021, Sandev Panaser wrote

    It's important to begin moving towards a more empathetic understanding of other's experiences, but not simply assuming what these are. There are experiential differences between black people, just like with any race. But there are a set of shared contextual challenges that are experienced broadly by black individuals that need to be addressed. The 'Black Lives Matter' movement does not mean their lives are more important than anyone else's, but that there are a specific set of challenges that are being faced by this group of individuals that need highlighting to society, challenges that have continued to negatively impact their lives for generations. It's society's responsibility to recognise and support them within this movement and beyond. As social creatures, we should embrace Black Lives Matters and support affected communities, it is our human duty.

  • Tobi Adeyemi
    7. At 11:08AM on 24 May 2021, Tobi Adeyemi wrote

    There is an African saying that ''Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse''. When it comes to the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, I have been very inspired to look inwards and outwards, to learn and unlearn all that I know about race irrespective of my background.

    BLM is a movement that affirms the humanity of those unjustly treated within our society - where basic human rights are lacking and ignored. In an ideal world, no one should have to be a puppet of their own existence or to prove why they need to be treated justly. As seen over the years, it is evident that it takes the power of the collective to go farther, break new grounds and change existing narratives about race - leading to life defining changes.

    Which is why, I believe strongly that we all have a human responsibility to make make meaningful contribution however little - and it starts with education. A good ally would seek knowledge, be informed on the issues and strive to educate those around them.

    Ignorance is not bliss, education is freedom for self and soul.

  • Sorcha Hughes
    8. At 10:14AM on 25 May 2021, Sorcha Hughes wrote

    "Without community, there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression" Audre Lorde. To me, this quote captures the importance of solidarity and the very real need for us all to actively communicate, support, and love one another, to truly make the world a better place. Black Lives Matter is intimately connected to LGBTQ+ issues, class issues, the oppression of women, economic injustice, and other social issues. When I think of what Audre meant by community, I imagine not disparate groups forced to fend for themselves and make progress on their own, but a society wherein problems are solved together, issues of injustice are opposed by all, and where someone's identity or community is not a predetermined disadvantage for their journey in the world.

  • Natasha Nelson (co-Chair of the Race Equality Network)
    9. At 10:17AM on 25 May 2021, Natasha Nelson (co-Chair of the Race Equality Network) wrote

    It has taken me a while to find the words to write my post and to be honest, I still don't have them. The amount of racism I have seen over the past year is disheartening, especially when the latest government report highlighted that 'there is no institutional racism in the UK', which is concerning as all you have to do is watch the news, or go on social media and it's there for all to see. The most recent example was of the young girl who was filmed on a night out who verbally and physically attacked a bouncer with racial slurs (and spit) just because he wouldn't let her into the club she wanted to go into. This girl has now been arrested, lost her job, but also considers herself 'famous' - sigh. She has also 'apologised' with the classic, "I'm not racist because I have co-workers and friends who are black", well I really hope these people are no longer her friends as you cannot justify the vile racism that escaped her mouth. The only reason this example has hit the news and she has been arrested is because it was filmed, but unfortunately this behaviour is seen by bouncers (and many other occupations all year round). Certain industries and parts of the world have come a long way, and some haven't come very far at all, and that's disappointing and makes me angry. I hope that in my lifetime I see real change, but if not I hope it comes soon enough for the next generation to not feel the same tensions, or not be able to walk in certain places, or wear certain clothes, for fear of what might happen to them just because of the colour of their skin.

    "To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try" Rosa Parks

  • Mike Hill
    10. At 1:58PM on 25 May 2021, Mike Hill wrote

    Thank you for the service with all its messages of goodwill and determination to work for racial justice. I participated as a representative of Friends International in Birmingham, an organisation which for over three decades has welcomed international students and academics to the UK regardless of colour, faith, race or nationality. As a Christian charity, we believe every person is created equally by God in His image.

    Today I recall Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s story of the respect shown to his mother by Archbishop Trevor Huddleston. "I know that he made an indelible impression on me as a boy of nine, when he doffed his hat to my domestic-worker mother and greeted her with 'good morning, ma'am'…It was unheard of and certainly rare in the South Africa of those days for a white man to show such respect to a black woman. It showed that he really did believe that those created in the image of God, of whatever colour, were indeed creatures of infinite worth, precious to God. ... His affection helped and perhaps exorcised, a likely bitterness or hatred of the whites and made my future ministry more possible." We all know what healing and reconciliation Archbishop Tutu later fostered. Who knows what impact our attitudes, words and actions may have in this world, and what we may receive in return.

    Friends International believes we are at our best only when we embrace people of all backgrounds and contexts to work together for a better future, and we have publicly pledged to stand alongside all those who seek to raise awareness and to eliminate racism from our society.

    Too many students experience racism: most recently, and since the pandemic, there has even been increased prejudice against East Asian students due to Covid. We are proud that our community volunteers offer all international students an unconditional welcome into their homes and lives.

    I was privileged to join with you today and will look forward to seeing the tree soon.

    Mike Hill

Add Your Feedback