Presbytery of New Brunswick
It was a hot July afternoon, five months after the first stay-at-home orders had forced us inside. Cherry Oakley, moderator of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, was thinking hard in the front seat of her car. She lamented the racial and economic injustice laid bare by the pandemic. She longed for human connection, for storytelling, for singing. Thinking gave way to inspiration. What if, she thought, some forum existed even now — even as we socially distance — for minoritized voices to share their stories? The Justice Concert of the Presbytery of New Brunswick was born.
Cherry mobilized a team of volunteers to help realize her vision. Artists in New Jersey and beyond began submitting creative works that wrestled with injustice. The planning team set about organizing submissions into a cohesive online collection. The result: a 90-minute concert recognizing, reckoning with and responding to social injustice. Viewers are encouraged to donate to the Poor People’s Campaign. Watch Video