URJ in the News: Reverend, Rabbi Discuss Role of Faith in Activism

Inside Leadership

URJ in the News: Reverend, Rabbi Discuss Role of Faith in Activism

Rabbi Jonah Pesner speaking from a podium

Reverend Hurmon Hamilton prompted the attendees to shout words including “story,” “organizing,” “invitation” and “relationships” — all of which he uses to describe how his faith inspired his increased involvement in activism.

On Thursday, Hamilton and Rabbi Jonah Pesner led a conversation in the Whitney Humanities Center about how people of faith can come together to advocate for justice. In 2005, Hamilton and Pesner co-led a grassroots campaign that organized thousands of religious people in the Massachusetts fight for health care access. Their work became a nationwide model for reform. During Thursday’s event, they discussed how they navigated deep ideological differences and how religious groups should approach activism as a community.

“This is the story of people of faith who worked together to co-organize,” Hamilton said. “We have had major disagreements, and we came out of that campaign, loving each other. That’s the best of organizing — the invitation, the moment, the organizing — that produces lasting relationships, not just lasting changes.”

Read the rest of this story in the Yale Daily News.

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