Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"God Empowers You to Fight For Justice": Advocate Austin Channing Brown

 Austin Channing Brown 

Austin Channing Brown is a speaker and writer advocating for justice and racial reconciliation. A graduate of North Park University and Marygrove College with a master's degree in social justice, Austin currently serves as a resident director and multicultural liaison at Calvin College. 
Austin recently wrote an article for Today's Christian Woman titled “5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Fight for Justice And the One Reason You Should.” In her article, she speaks honestly about her commitment to seeking racial justice. Working in foster care and homeless shelters, churches, and college campuses, Austin speaks of a calling that “follows her into every moment of her life.” Yet, she confesses ...

Doing this work is hard. Really hard. In fact, fighting for justice is the worst. It’s not sexy or romantic; it’s often quite gut-wrenching. So in an effort to be honest about this work, I decided to make a list of why you shouldn’t fight for justice.”

(Austin Channing Brown. “5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Fight for Justice And the One Reason You Should.” Today's Christian Woman. 2017.)

This is that list of why you should not fight for justice:

1. It will exhaust you.

It is a deeply emotional investment that requires working behind the scenes with little pay.

2. You never feel like you're doing enough.

Societal issues are intricate and far-reaching. With those complexities come more opportunities to act, to serve, to fight.

3. You’ll never be able to unlearn what you’ve learned.

The more we learn, the more our lives and relationships are disrupted. When our eyes are opened to the injustices in the world, our lives begin to center on understanding how certain injustices have developed over time and how they are currently maintained. We’re often rejected, shouted down, and silenced.

4. The hits will keep coming.

Our cultural awareness, heightened by our passion for a specific issue, reminds us of all the ways our work is still undone in this fallen world—and it hurts.

5. You'll hardly even “win.”

In the work of justice, “wins” are tough to come by and often difficult to define. The few and far between victories are often a small but significant reminder that God is still working in the world—that hope can win.

Wow! This is enough to dissuade anyone from standing up from justice. The reasons are brutally honest. It's just not worth the effort. However, make no mistake, Austin Channing Brown is dedicated to activism, and she wants you to help fight the good fight, too

Despite all of reasons not to fight for justice, Brown finds her bedrock for setting at liberty those who are oppressed in the Bible. She says, “In Luke 4:18–19 Christ stood before a gathering and read from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (ESV).

To put it succinctly, Brown says the one reason we must fight for justice is “We serve – and are empowered by – a God of justice.”

Austin Channing Brown warns us that fighting for justice is extremely difficult. In fact, she acknowledges as a commitment to learning and educating others grows, the journey may cost us some friends The struggle essentially puts us into a new community of those she calls the global community of “freedom fighters.”

Austin is a devout Christian woman who believes activism is essential – both to her society and to her faith. So many today choose to hand injustice to God and trust he will absolve all problems. They deny the charge to battle prejudice and inequality. They pray but leave the temporal work to God. Unlike meek bystanders, Brown accepts the charge of the Almighty to lead a movement of rectitude. Her integrity bolsters her commitment. She is at work dismantling unjust systems and exposing them to the searing light of truth.

Austin Channing Brown tells you this about her work ...

“We make peace. We promote truth and love above politeness and civility. We make noise because our lives depend on it. Our commitment to racial justice and reconciliation requires we dig into the muddiness of humanity, reckoning with the worst of our humanity as we call out its best. This work is not for the faint of heart. It requires hope. Not a hope founded on good feelings or good intentions, but hope that demands. For our hope is risky, relentless, rooted in our certainty that love will win.

”God bless you and your activism, Ms. Brown.

Please read more about Austin here and join her movement to better our country: http://austinchanning.com/

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