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About


There is only one way to look at things until someone
shows us how to look at them with different eyes
-Pablo Picasso


Growing up in an all-white neighborhood, worshipping in an all- white congregation and attending an elementary school with minimal ethnic diversity shaped the way I saw the world. Despite the repeal of the Jim Crow laws, segregation continued to prevail. I was taught to treat others with respect, but was blinded to the ways the world had distorted my perception. 
Since 1994, I have served on staff as the youth minister of my home church. It was through this ministry I began to look at things through different eyes. Through the work of our former pastor, our church reconnected with the elementary school across the street and began a new program to minister to the students in our neighborhood, a once predominantly white middle class neighborhood that is now culturally rich and ethnically diverse. It was these students who gave me the desire to see things through different eyes and to step beyond the walls of the church to do justice.
In the fall of 2018 as a part of my doctoral work at Campbell University, I led our local congregation in a six-week study about the history of racism and how the Church (universal) has been complicit in it.  The study concluded with a trip to the Civil Rights Museum and a time of worship at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA.  Following that study, I continued to educate myself about racism and how it operates in Robeson County, a predominantly tri-racial county. 
After the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in May 2020, our sheriff called a meeting of county leaders to discuss race relations. At that meeting, I met Rev. Tyrone Watson, president of the Unified Robeson County NAACP who invited me to march to the courthouse for a Juneteenth celebration.  The next day I joined a small handful of people for the rally, but was saddened by the lack of ministerial participation. From that moment, I made a commitment to reach out to other ministers in our community from every ethnic background and denomination who would stand with us against injustice. 
When Brianna Goodwin and I connected, we were both working separately to bring ministers in this community together. This is the handiwork of God and we are both humbled and stand in awe of how our paths have converged. This organization was birthed and is thriving even in the midst of a pandemic. 
My faith compels me to work for justice.  It is what Jesus would do, he walked alongside the marginalized, the oppressed, the outcast. Once your eyes are opened to the inequities that continue to exist, faith requires a response.
I can’t be silent. I still have much to learn, but I want to be an ally to my brothers and sisters who have been suffering for so long. I want them to know I see them, I hear them, I am listening and I am willing to do the hard work. 
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream. Amos 5:24
Leslie Sessoms

 

“If not now, then when? If not us, then who?”


That is the quote that resounds in my mind as I reflect on how I became compelled to step into the arena of social justice after a long period of focusing solely on philanthropic work. Like many bi-racial individuals, growing up felt a lot like being a shade of gray in a world that only honored black and white. I learned to tow the line and become a chameleon depending on my surroundings, yet when I watched the footage of both Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd being slain in the streets of the United States of America in 2020, I knew that my days of failing to take a strong stance were over, for good. After a life of being heavily influenced by my grandfather, a prominent black minister in Robeson County, I defaulted to the folks that have the trust of many in our community, ministers. Several phone calls and emails later, I was connected with Dr. Leslie Sessoms and from our first interaction, I knew that God was in our re-acquaintance. From there, we planned our very first meeting with local ministers who were interested in social justice work to be held at the non-profit I now lead, the Robeson County Church and Community Center. Dr. Sessoms took on her natural role as moderator and ultimately, President of our beloved group. I transitioned into the role best suited for me as Co-Founder and advisor. May God continue to bless our work according to his will.
Brianna Goodwin
 

Ms. Brianna Goodwin
Vice President
Co-Founder

Rev. Derek McNair
Vice President 

Ms. Deborah Taylor
Secretary 

Rev. Dr. Leslie Sessoms
President
Co-Founder

Our Mission

Our Mission

To be a group of ethnically diverse Robeson County ministers promoting unity and doing justice in our community

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Image by adrianna geo

Our Vision

To create a peaceful community where broken relationships are reconciled and equity is achieved. 

Our Values

 Integrity

 Humility

 Transparency

Courage

Excellence

Image by Gary Butterfield

We Need Your Support Today!

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