It is almost inconceivable that in the year 2021 there are still large swaths of Americans who deny the existence of systemic racism. But to ensure the nation’s future prosperity, it is critical that we break down the systems of discrimination that have permeated our legal and social systems for centuries. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will explore how ordinary people can play a critical role in overcoming racism.

This week, world leaders are gathering in Glasgow for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP26. Dr. Svitlana Romanko, Zero Fossil Fuels campaign manager at Laudato Si Movement, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to highlight what people of faith should be watching ahead of the summit and discuss her own organization’s faith-driven work to combat climate change.

White supremacists and their allies often mask their extremism under the guise of patriotism. Anyone who dares to stand up for racial justice, they label an unpatriotic traitor. But confronting our nation’s history of systemic racism and actively seeking solutions is perhaps the most patriotic act one can undertake. Rev. Gaddy will sit down with Dr. Theodore Johnson — author of When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America and director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Fellows Program — to talk solutions.

In 1996, a Religious Right leader uttered a sentence that would later undergird the movement for decades to come: “I would rather have a thousand school board members than one president and no school board members.” Frederick Clarkson, senior research analyst with Political Research Associates, will join Welton to discuss how the Christian Right is targeting school boards and other local elected offices. Fred’s recent Religion Dispatches article is headlined, The Christian Right Revolution Starts Small and Local.

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