Season 1, Episode 3: Ferguson and Faith with Dr. Leah Gunning Francis

About This Episode

Host Connor Kenaston talks to Dr. Leah Gunning Francis about her book Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community. On August 9, 2014, the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer became a catalyst for new conversations about race across the United States.

“People of faith should care about Ferguson because of what Ferguson represents. We first know that a young man lost his life, and anytime that happens – that need not be relegated to an issue or an event – but a sincere tragedy. But even in addition to that individual tragedy, what it has come to represent is this long standing issue of racial bias, of police brutality, of unjust policing practices, of very frayed race relations in the United States of America.”

“Social holiness is not a matter of being holier than thou but rather how do we understand our faith – our commitment and connection to God – as fuel for caring about the world, as the impotence for caring about people, humanity, creation. So this whole idea of social holiness is connected to praying with our feet, where we pray and we have piety, we commune with God in that way. Then after we are done praying we actually engage in activity that will work toward the benefit of all people in our world.”


In This Episode

1:00 Clergy Involvement in Ferguson
3:30 Social Holiness and Praying With Our Feet
4:40 What Does Black Lives Matter in Context
7:45 How the Movement of Today Differs From Racial Justice Movements of the 1960s
11:40 Respectability Politics
15:00 “We are not Ferguson” and “Staying Woke”


Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community by Dr. Leah Gunning Francis
Faith After Ferguson: Leadership in Pursuit of Racial Justice by Dr. Leah Gunning Francis