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.”