ATTN. Christian Colleges and Universities: URGENT MASS ACTION ALERT #HandsUpWalkout #Ferguson
Hello Current Students and Alumni of institutions belonging to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities! Also, a special hello to my alma mater, Wheaton College in Illinois!
This message is for you IF AND ONLY IF you believe that your faith in Christ should be put into action. This message is for you, especially, if you assert that your motto is “FOR CHRIST AND HIS KINGDOM.”
This upcoming week is your time and your opportunity to join or to continue joining the People of Ferguson IN SOLIDARITY as we all struggle for justice, equality, and freedom. Of course, we are still fighting for justice for Mike Brown.
However, this Movement is NOT only about Mike Brown or the countless others whose lives have been stolen.
It’s about the next one.
As people of faith, this Movement calls you to put your faith into action, to put the love of Christ into action.
In addition to the national FergusonAction.com action (more info below), the grass-roots group, STL Students in Solidarity are organizing actions specifically for college students to be in solidarity with the People of Ferguson/STL in their struggle for justice: For Monday, December 1, 2014, the plan is to walk out and occupy your quad or other significant campus location, chant, use signs, and tweet photos with the hashtags: #HWinTheStreets #STLinSolidarity #Ferguson
If you’re evangelical, you might as well tweet #Evangelicals4Justice to get the attention of the predominately complacent evangelical community.
Other important hashtags: #HandsUpWalkout #NoJusticeNoProfit #JusticeForMikeBrown #FergusonSolidarity #NoCyberMonday #NotOneDime
Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/STLStudentsinSolidarity
Follow on Twitter! @STLinSolidarity
Follow on WordPress: http://stlstudentsinsolidarity.wordpress.com
**If you want to go to an event that is already being planned near or around you, txt “Hands UP” to 90975. Once you receive a text, reply with your zip code.
**If you are in Wheaton, IL, I recommend organizing an action on Wheaton’s campus. It would be incredibly powerful to start the action in front of Edman Chapel. **Remember that the goal of this movement now is to disrupt the status quo.
To go on with “business as usual” as if Mike Brown’s body didn’t lay dead in the streets as he bled out for four-and-a-half hours in front of his family and community, is to be complicit in the murder of Mike Brown.
Hence, mass boycotting chapel and classes for the day would be a powerful response to Wheaton President, Dr. Ryken’s failure to support students who requested a public statement condemning racial injustice, police brutality, etc. (Please See Info below along with my rationale for adding this aspect to the protest. However, this protest does not have to address this issue, either. You can strategically stick to the demands that are exclusive to Ferguson)
For Wheaton College, the march could begin at Edman, and then you could march through downtown Wheaton, nearby. See Resource Links below for advice on how to organize this action. All you need is the word to spread through social media. If you tweet it, those who care will come.
Also, we all know that Wheaton Police will treat Wheaton students much better than Ferguson PD treats black people, so do not be afraid of exercising your constitutional right to protest, especially if you’re on campus. I will send chants and other resources, but even silent protest with signs that say things like, We are Mike Brown; No Justice, No Peace; Every 28 hours a black person is killed by the Police, etc. would be powerful.
By participating in the #HandsUpWalkOut national action, IN SOLIDARITY with the People of #Ferguson, Christian college students across the country (and hopefully professors) will make an urgent moral and theological statement about this injustice. Please be ready to answer this call, at this crucial moment in history. In fact, don’t make it a moment, make it a movement. We are with you, and you are with us. The People united, will never be defeated!
Please email me, tweet me, or Facebook me if you have questions.
It is your right to do this. It is your right to assemble.
But not only that!
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom! It is our duty to win! We must love and support each other! We have nothing to lose but our chains!” – Assata Shakur and an important chant for this Movement.
In Power, Solidarity, and Militant Joy,
Wheaton College ‘13
M.Div. Candidate at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
Important Resources from fergusonaction.com: http://fergusonaction.com/hands-up-walk-out/
Hands Up Mass Walkout Tool-Kit: http://cdn.fergusonaction.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Hands-Up-Mass-Walkout-Tool-Kit3.pdf
Principles for Action Ferguson Action Team: http://cdn.fergusonaction.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Principles-for-Action.pdf
On Monday, Dec 1st people around the country will be walking out of their schools and places of work in solidarity with Ferguson communities across the country effected by police violence.
Where? It can be any central location at your school or the area where you work . Consider if there is a place that has relevance to social justice such as a monument, chapel, or scene of previous protests.
When? Ideally, all #HandsUpWalkout events will happen simultaneously at 12pm central time on Monday, December 1st.
The steps for organizing a #HandsUpWalkout are simple:
Before the walkout:
Make a list of friends and to invite to the event, make calls, email them, tag them on social media, ask each person to invite 5 more people.
Share the event on social media with the hashtag #HandsUpWalkout and the hashtags affiliated with your campus, city, or part of town where you are trying to draw out.
WHY BOYCOTT CHAPEL/WHEATON COLLEGE CLASSES (AND OTHER COMPLACENT EVANGELICAL INSTITUTIONS) FOR THE DAY:
A collective of students recently mass emailed Dr. Ryken “humbly and firmly asking him to make a public statement about the events surrounding Ferguson and racism in America, [similar to] Chandler and Labberton’s [statements below].” Dr. Ryken is not being asked to take a political side, as this issue is non-partisan. This is a human issue, not a democrat or a republican issue. Yet, Dr. Ryken has chosen to not make this statement, despite the fact the several prominent white evangelicals have made statements on this issue, and despite the fact that Dr. Ryken has taken a public stance on “political issues” such as immigration reform. We must demand justice for Mike Brown in Ferguson and in the Federal Government. The action on Monday is primarily about that. However, by walking out before chapel or even after chapel but before the end of the school day, this can be a protest of Dr. Ryken and the Wheaton administration’s continued complacency and politics of respectability related to racial injustice and black genocide in America.
Along with the ones above, I recommend using hashtags such as:
#OccupyMyWheaton #OccupyChapel #MyWheatonForMikeBrown #OccupyCCCU (for solidarity with other Christian colleges), etc. #GordonForMikeBrown #TaylorForMikeBrown #AzusaPacificForMikeBrown, etc…
All of that being said, this protest does not have to be about Wheaton’s failure to stand up for justice, as an institution. The protest can be strictly about Justice For Mike Brown and the fact that Black Lives Matter.
****Below is just some additional information I’m sharing which might help persuade the President that this is in fact an important issue for Wheaton to publicly address:
Dr. Ryken has stated, “Wheaton College generally does not issue public statements about off-campus incidents.”
However, President Ryken does make public statements about “off-campus incidents” (from link below): SEE VIDEO TOO
EVANGELICAL STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM
Our national immigration laws have created a moral, economic and political crisis in America. Initiatives to remedy this crisis have led to polarization and name calling in which opponents have misrepresented each other’s positions as open borders and amnesty versus deportations of millions. This false choice has led to an unacceptable political stalemate at the federal level at a tragic human cost.
We urge our nation’s leaders to work together with the American people to pass immigration reform that embodies these key principles and that will make our nation proud.
As evangelical Christian leaders, we call for a bipartisan solution on immigration that:
• Respects the God-given dignity of every person
• Protects the unity of the immediate family
• Respects the rule of law
• Guarantees secure national borders
• Ensures fairness to taxpayers
• Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents
Heads of the Evangelical Immigration Table
- Philip Ryken, President, Wheaton College
- Mark Labberton, President, Fuller Theological Seminary
- Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners
- Matt Chandler, Senior Pastor, The Village Church/President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network, Fort Worth
Given that Jim Wallis is on the Immigration Round Table and he put out a statement on Ferguson, this might connect with Dr. Ryken too:
“Repentance must begin in the white Christian community for tolerating this offense to our black brothers and sisters and, ultimately, this offense to God. Let me be as honest as I can be. If white Christians in America were more Christian than white, black parents could feel safer about their children. It’s time for us white Christians to repent — turn around and go in a new direction.” – Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners
Fuller’s President Reflects on Events in Ferguson:
Pastor Matt Chandler Speaks Up About ‘White Privilege,’ ‘Nonsense’ Going on in Ferguson
UPDATE (11/30/14 11:50PM): Several Wheaton College students have planned a #HandsUpWalkOut mass protest and die-in on campus, in solidarity with the People of Ferguson! See FB event page here: Wheaton College protest in solidarity with Ferguson
Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou sends a message to students at the Christian Liberal Arts school, Wheaton College, who planned to protest in solidarity with the People of Ferguson and St. Louis for the #HandsUpWalkOut action on December 1, 2014.