Leah Gunning Francis (who spoke at Wild Goose Festival 2015) is more than the author of Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community, she is also an activist and a passionate champion for changing the public narrative about young black men.
When the tragic death of Michael Brown occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014, St. Louis-based Chalice Press needed to be part of a positive and justice-seeking response. In partnership with the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), we were honored to work with Dr. Gunning Francis, who went out and interviewed more than two dozen faith leaders and young activists to tell the behind-the-scenes story of what happened in the days and months following the event that propelled the #BlackLivesMatter movement on the national stage.
As Shane Claiborne has called it, Ferguson and Faith is “an important book … a theological memoir of a movement.”
In his foreword to the book, Jim Wallis, founder and president of Sojourners, writes,
I believe that if the young Ferguson leaders hadn’t gotten up day after day and gone to the streets night after night, and some courageous clergy hadn’t joined them there and spoken out in their community, there might never have been a historic national commission on policing or a damning Department of Justice report on the Ferguson Police Department — and we would not be at the beginning of a new national conversation on reforming the criminal justice system. But it is only the beginning …
With new reports of police shootings in the news nearly every day, we know Wallis is right, and it is our hope that this book will be part of sparking the national conversation among people and communities of faith as to how to faithfully respond. Because, as Dr. Gunning Francis writes in the book, “There is a Ferguson near you.”
Watch and share this video message from Ferguson and Faith author Leah Gunning Francis!
Other Wild Goose 2015 speakers whose books are available from Chalice Press:
Forward Together by Rev. William Barber II
Pre-Post-Racial America by Sandhya Rani Jha
Blessed Are The Crazy by Sarah Griffith Lund
Coming Home by Zachary Moon
PregMANcy by Christian Piatt
Sacred Wounds by Teresa B Pasquale