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‘Freedom Rising’ calls PC(USA) to action in black communities

New initiative to address plight of young African American males in US cities

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is taking specific action to confront the societal and racial issues facing black communities in the U.S. by living into a new church initiative to address the plight of African American males in our country.

The pilot initiative follows an action approved by the PC(USA) 222nd General Assembly (2016) in Portland, Oregon, which calls for the church to support programs to assist African American males in five cities: Baltimore—where the General Assembly will meet in 2020—Charlotte, Cleveland, New York and Pittsburgh.

The initiative’s name “Freedom Rising: The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) outreach to young African American males” honors the memory of the late Rev. Eugene “Freedom” Blackwell. The Pittsburgh pastor, who died August 30 due to complications of bone cancer, was a co-author and Pittsburgh Presbytery’s overture advocate for the “On Taking Specific Action to Address the Worsening Plight of the African American Male” (10-03) resolution passed by General Assembly.

“One of the things that became very clear to us is that African American men feel very unsafe on our streets regardless of whether they are in a black or white community,” says Pittsburgh Presbytery’s General Minister Sheldon Sorge. “This has been a high profile news story in this country for the past couple of years and for the church to remain inert and not respond is unconscionable.”

In adopting the resolution, the General Assembly encouraged all PC(USA) congregations to support the “Freedom Rising” initiative by giving their portion of the recently taken Peace & Global Witness Offering to help fund programs being developed in the pilot cities.

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Give now at: presbyterianfoundation.org/freedom


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