In 2020

June marks Pride Month, a celebration of the diversity and contributions of the LGBTQI+ community. However, many members of the community are left to celebrate Pride in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing protests for racial equity, many of which are calling for stronger protections for Black trans lives. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will look into how we can protect our most vulnerable in a religious context, honoring the revolutionary legacy of queer activists who have helped pave the way for equal rights for all.

In this moment of vulnerability for many, it is more important than ever to ensure LGBTQ+ youth – some of whom may be quarantining in environments hostile to their identity – have a space to embrace and celebrate their queerness. Dr. Jun Young, founder and director of Beloved Arise, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss this new organization’s mission of empowering LGBTQ+ young people of faith – especially with the first-ever Queer Youth of Faith Day, June 30th.

Much of Interfaith Alliance’s strength comes from its state-based affiliates, who are taking the fight for religious freedom to their local legislatures. The Rev. Amanda Henderson, longtime executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, is one such leader who is also making a national impact. Welton will be joined by Amanda to discuss her new book, Holy Chaos: Creating Connections in Divisive Times.

We are facing a moment of deep racial tension – and reconciliation – in this country. Black activists are issuing a clarion call for justice, and it is the responsibility of non-Black allies to answer and stand hand-in-hand for true racial equity. Suhag Shukla, executive director of the Hindu American Foundation, will join Welton to discuss her recent call to action, headlined Dharma demands us to fight for racial justice.

In this time of social isolation, do you know someone who would benefit from hearing the thoughtful, inclusive conversations we offer? Please share State of Belief with them!

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