A note from Rev. Andrew Black, Director of Community Relations, Education and Veterans Outreach
Dear Spiritual Leaders,
As many of you know, today President Trump was in Salt Lake City today to announce devastating cuts and drastic rollbacks to environmental protections to both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments.
Our work and trip to Bears Ears was not and has not been in vain and now more than ever your voices are important, your wisdom is needed, your prayers are essential and your advocacy must know no bounds. Speaking to this, NBC Nightly News just picked up on one of our op-eds that Nahum so kindly drafted. We made some quick updates to it this afternoon and NBC just ran it nationally. Also Religion News Service just picked up on our work and published a major national news story highlighting the sacred value of Bears Ears tonight. As you can see, it is important that these decisions are not met with silence and despair, but with a prophetic voice, a call to action, thoughtful reflection and solidarity with our native sisters and brothers. To this end, Nahum, Jim Brown and I also worked on a different Op-ed that will run in the New Mexican (likely Sunday).
Here are the NBC News and the Religious News Service Links:
As more monument decisions are likely to come down in the next few days, I want to encourage you all to stay strong, make your voices heard, write your own op-eds (whether they be for Bears Ears, Rio Grande del Norte, Organ Mountains Desert Peaks or others), talk to your communities about what is going on and continue to listen, pray and discern how you can be most helpful.
Friends if I may speak plainly, today has been a tough day and I suspect some tougher days lie ahead. But let me say this, I am grateful to be on the journey with each on of you, I take solace in knowing you all are out there doing good work in your communities and feel blessed to have gotten to know each of you on a deeper level through this work. Quite simply thank you for being who you are and I am grateful that through your work and witness I remain steadfast knowing that light is greater than darkness, hope is greater than despair and love is greater than hate.
Tonight, I close with words from one of the greatest spiritual leaders America has known: "the ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.