Broken World, Theology — September 20, 2010 at 10:27 am

Is the Civil Rights Movement over?

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Generation X and Y have often been written off as being overly self-absorbed, apathetic, and even narcissistic. While there is some truth in every misguided stereotype, I’ve seen enough of my peers leading inspiring and entrepreneurial change to turn this perception on its head.

Throughout history, young people have acted as the vanguard of important social and political change, serving as moral interrogators and foot soldiers in advancing civil rights, opposing apartheid and more recently fighting human trafficking and global poverty.

I just wrote my first book, Mobilizing Hope: Faith Inspired Activism for a Post Civil Rights Generation, to draw lessons from previous social movements and apply them to the most pressing challenges facing our nation and world today. I also wanted to provide concrete examples of young people putting their faith into action and making a tangible difference in policy and systemic change.

The book draws from my own experiences leading campaigns to fight the global HIV/AIDS crisis, pass a living wage, end the genocide in Darfur, and cancel the debts of impoverished countries; as well as a range of dynamic young Christian leaders who have made a tangible impact on their community, our nation, and the world.

Our generations have increasingly embraced service as a meaningful way to make a difference. The challenge is to build on this service ethic by also addressing the root causes of so much inequality and injustice that afflict the United States and world. Charity and justice are indispensable to living out the gospel.

Too often crises such as extreme poverty feel like “Goliaths” in our midst. Just like Goliath, the crisis feels overwhelming, paralyzing and seemingly intractable. But like David, we must learn to reconfigure the battlefield according to the gifts and tools that God has given us and find the smooth stones that will be most effective in generating the social and political will.

We can’t simply romanticize or memorialize activism of the past, we must develop new tools, methods, and strategies that will be most effective in our current political landscape. Mobilizing Hope provides an overview and primer around these tools and a theological and moral basis for social justice activism. I pray that the book can help strengthen a movement to mobilize hope within our generation and empower Christians to put their faith into action in concrete ways to advance God’s kingdom come.

Jim Wallis captures the purpose of the book in his foreword when he writes:

“Mobilizing Hope is a story of how Adam and many of his cohorts are shaping the next strategies for faith-based social change; a theology for social justice; a spirituality for young activists; a handbook for those who want to experiment with activism and search out their own vocation in the world; and a strategy manual that draws lessons from past movements for change”.

The book is now available on Amazon. I hope and pray that it serves as a resource and inspiration for you.

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