We know the cost of the fallout is not yet calculated from the aftermath of the events in Ferguson over the past few days. However, what we do know is that the first victims after the verdict was announced were small businesses in the "hot zone" that were burned to the ground.
Operation Hope CEO and empowerment advocate John Hope Bryant wrote an article on LinkedIn entitled: "The Second Victim of Ferguson. The Death of Business and Jobs" that highlighted the potential long-term devastating impact of the loss of small businesses. According to Bryant, the specific small businesses that burned down and/or looted included: QuickTrip, Ferguson Market, AutoZone, wireless telephone store, beauty supply store, a public storage, and a BBQ restaurant. Bryant says:
"None of these businesses had anything to do with the injustices of Ferguson and its criminal justice system, but many may never open again, or even have a desire to come back. And given that 92% of all jobs in America are private sector, this means that a community that had few jobs before the Michael Brown crisis, now will have significantly less still.
This is one reason I'm a huge advocate for entrepreneurship training in urban areas as a vehicle to create opportunities and help lift people out of poverty. Prayerfully Ferguson's entrepreneur community will be able to rebuild with an increased emphasis on more people becoming small business owners. Economic empowerment must become one of the the key aspects of community rebuilding.
Click here to read the full article on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141125191809-23074630-the-second-victim-of-ferguson-the-death-of-business-and-jobs
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Whether we realize it or not, we are in the age of the "Entrepreneurial Economy". This doesn't mean everyone will be an entrepreneur. What it means is that every worker needs to approach the workforce with a new mindset. Along with a new mindset, workers will also need new transferable skills that will be sustainable in any work environment or economy. Every person is a personal enterprise who brings significant value to the marketplace. While that may be somewhat frightening for some, this new normal actually creates many opportunities for those who are willing and able to adapt and adjust.
That's why we're excited to host Dream Rally for Jobs in Suffolk, VA this Friday, October 17th at Gates of Heaven C.O.G.I.C. We will be restoring hope, igniting visions, and inspiring dreams of the unemployed, underemployed, and misemployed. If you have been unsuccessful in finding meaning work with a living wage or you know someone in that position please join us for this special event beginning at 7:30 pm.
Learn more at www.incmydream.com/dream-rally
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Poverty and injustice are not the central focus of the Gospel but they should be significant areas of concern for those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus says in Matthew 25:35-45 that how we have treated the poor, imprisoned, and homeless is a direct reflection of how we deal with him. And according to James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a major advocate for the fight against economic injustices, especially later in his life (you can hear some of his views in the video below). This coming Monday night at Kingdom Business University's business Bible study, we'll be discussing some of Dr. King's views on economic injustice, including poverty and unemployment. Please join us at 7:30 pm for a poignant and relevant conversation to you as a Kingdom builder. Click the image below for more information.
What are you thoughts on King's views on poverty?
November 23, 2012 is a day that changed Lucia McBath's life forever. Her son, Jordan Davis, and his friends had stopped at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, after having finished shopping on Black Friday. What occurred next is unconscionable. Police say the man parked next to them, 45-year-old Michael Dunn, got into a confrontation with them over loud music coming from their car and opened fire, hitting Jordan several times. Investigators say the teens had no weapons. Dunn claims he was threatened and is attempting to use Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law as the basis of his defense.
Join us Thursday night, December 5th, for a very special episode of Passion in Action TV as I have the privilege of speaking with Ms. McBath about her son and her efforts since his tragic death to get "Stand Your Ground" laws overturned in this country.
Log on at www.passioninaction.tv at 7 PM est.
There is no doubt the verdict from the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, Florida has had a polarizing effect across this country. Many people in the black community and others feel a great injustice was wrought with the acquittal of George Zimmerman. In situations like these it's hard not to be emotional no matter which side of the result that you're on.
One thing for certain is that we still have a race relations problem in this country. And because this is true, we have to be as diligent and intentional as ever to see things from God's perspective in order to move forward in love, but also with the tools and strategies to root out injustice wherever it exists.
READ: How Your Purpose is Connected to Justice
"After the Verdict" will be a special broadcast of Passion in Action TV this Thursday at 7pm ET. We'll have a special panel comprised of communities leaders who'll be discussing how to help our communities move forward positively, especially related to our teens and young adults.
Leroy Barber has dedicated more than 20 years to eradicating poverty, confronting homelessness, restoring local neighborhoods, healing racism, and living what Dr. King called “the beloved community.” Leroy Barber is Global Executive Director of Word Made Flesh, an international organization that works among the most vulnerable of the world's poor. Rev. Barber is on the boards of Mission Year and the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). He is the author of New Neighbor: An Invitation to Join Beloved Community, and Everyday Missions: How Ordinary People Can Change the World. His third book, Red, Yellow, Black and White: Who’s More Precious In His Sight?, will be published this fall. Learn more at www.LeroyBarber.com.
Kenny Pugh is the author of Can You Do It Standing Up? A Different Position On Relationships, which is a compilation of insights targeted at helping people make healthy relationship decisions. As a media personality, life coach, and consultant, he has a passion for establishing, enhancing and restoring interpersonal relationships. He wishes to serve as a vessel of understanding in an era of disconnected, aimless, and broken relationships, and to soothe adversities of all forms, whether practical, relational, or spiritual. Kenny is host of the weekly radio show, Chat Kafe, and is a contributor to CNN and Black Enterprise Magazine. Learn more at www.KennyPugh.com.
Johnnie Porter is a professional chaplain, pastor, entrepreneur, community organizer and counselor. He consistently looks for solutions to empower people to live healthy spiritually, financially, physically, and emotionally. Johnnie has committed his life to serving in the community, mobilizing leaders, and helping those who are overlooked and underresourced. He is also the host of the online radio show Power Up with Johnnie Porter, which provides inspiration and information to help people create positive turning points in their lives.
READ: What About All the Other Trayvons?
Join us for the live stream on your computer or mobile device at 7pm ET only on www.passioninaction.tv.
They offer only superficial help for the harm my people have suffered. They say, 'Everything will be all right!'
But everything is not all right! - Jeremiah 6:14
Injustice is not just about racism, classism, or socioeconomic disparities. It's a Kingdom issue. It's something God cares greatly about. He will hold us accountable for injustices we see that we don't address. Here's what He says:
"Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation." (Jeremiah 22:3-5)
Even Jesus said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." (Matthew 23:23 NKJV)
No Justice. No Peace.
Whether its racism, corrupt business practices, inequalities in the legal system, broken educational system, abortion, child slavery, unequal educational resources, neglect and mistreatment of the elderly, and even more, it's our prophetic responsibility as Christians to speak truth to the injustices we see and introduce change through God-inspired solutions. If you don't have any concern for justice, then you will never have peace.
READ: What About All the Other Trayvons?
Racism. Classism. Sexism. Ageism. And every other "schism" are systems designed by Satan to bring division, fear, and chaos among people. These are all deep-seated issues of injustice. They are very real schemes and have very real consequences. They are not vestiges of a bygone era or something that people should just get over. They don't go away if we try to ignore them or just not talk about them. But like God told Jeremiah 1:10, Christians have been appointed to "uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow" kingdoms of darkness. However, like Jeremiah we have to identify and engage what we are called to destroy. We can't defeat what we won't admit is real.
Purposed to Solve Problems
Did you know your PURPOSE is connected to a real PROBLEMS in the earth? God placed you here on earth to help fix what's broken with His help. He wants partnership in the planet to bring solutions to the people. But if you're distracted by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life, you will miss your opportunity to help change what's wrong in the world. You will also miss your chance to find DEEP fulfillment in this life.
Don't protest or complain about something for which you're not willing to fervently apply your constructive thoughts, time, talents, or treasures (money). Justice issues deserve and require more than just emotional reactions and Facebook posts. It's ok to get mad as long as you're also willing to get mobilized. Otherwise you're just blowing hot air and we don't need any more of that in the atmosphere.
LISTEN: Racism. Sexism. Classism. From Paula Dean to the Trayvon Martin Case
What are YOU going to do about the injustice you see in your community, city, country, world? The world - and God - are waiting for you to make your calling and election sure.
What say you? Thanks for leaving your respectful comments below...
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