At a LGBTQ pride month kick-off event at CBS in San Francisco I screened "Brave Spaces: Perspectives on Faith and LGBT Justice" produced and directed by Marc Smolowitz. It's a 30-minute documentary produced by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Religion and Faith Program.
The basic question answered in the documentary is "how have faith leaders, LGBT advocates and broader communities been able to find common ground and work together to advance the causes of social justice."
The documenary features Eric Holder, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Bishop Yvette Flunder among others. African American churches have been perceived as more homophobic than the rest of the faith and non-faith based communities. This perception is addressed as well.
The documentary is available for screening with a video discussion guide and suggested questions from HRC by emailing MacArthur H. Flournoy.
Here are 10 things I Learned from viewing "Brave Spaces":
1. The importance of a broad-based coalition building with faith-based organizations.
2. The late Bayard Rustin, an architect of the 1963 March on Washington, could not be open about his being gay at that time.
3. It is a journey to "stay at the table with you in the "brave space" and hear what is real for you" according to Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy, the Director of Faith Partnerships and Mobilization for the HRC Foundaiton and a producer of the documentary.
4. The NAACP's acceptance of marriage equality was a bellwether moment in the movement for justice for all.
5. Justice and equality must be extended to marriage equality.
6. It is " . . . not a matter of the Black community versus the LGBT community, we are all inextricably linked" according to Rev. Flournoy.
7. Hearts and minds must be changed as well as behaviors, structures and systems, not just laws.
8. Folks should " . . . stand together in unity, not uniformity" added Rev. Flournoy.
9. "Either protect everyone or no one" said Rev. Al Sharpton.
10. "Until all of us are free, none of us are free" said Bishop Yvette Flunder.
Peace, love, compassion and blessings.
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