How will we overcome systemic racial injustice in America? In this deeply personal conversation, Sojourners President and Founder Jim Wallis and James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schlow talk with Debbie and Billy Shore about poverty, equality and race relations in America. “Abraham Lincoln said that ‘leaders should appeal to our better angels’, but this president appeals to our worst demons and he calls them up and they’re right below the surface,” says Wallis about the prevalence of racism in America. Schlow learned the power of being open-minded at a young age. “My mother and my dad felt that an open house was an important component of the community. You’re not supposed to be building walls right now, you’re supposed to be opening doors,” he says.
Wallis cites research that 75% of white Americans don’t have one significant relationship with a person of color and therefore do not know how much they may have in common with one another. “We’ve got to start having dinner together and hearing about our hopes and dreams for our kids. Right now, the soul of America is at stake,” he cautions. “In my company we’re not just here to take care of the guests, we’re here to take care of each other. When somebody has a crisis… our restaurant family comes to each other’s aid,” notes Schlow.
Feel empowered by part 1 of a poignant conversation about the connections between our personal values and the social and political change we want to see in the world.
Resources and Mentions:
· No Kid Hungry (nokidhungry.org): Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
· Michael Schlow is one of the most influential and respected chef/restaurateurs in America today. His ability to capture a variety of global cuisines and techniques has led to appearances on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Rachel Ray Show, CBS This Morning, Nightline, and The Food Network. He’s been the recipient of many awards including being named “Best Chef in the Northeast” by the James Beard Foundation, “Best Chef in the Country” by Sante Magazine, as well as the “Culinary Award of Excellence” given out by Robert Mondavi to only 6 recipients a year. His restaurants have been recognized as some of the best in the world by Esquire, Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and Gourmet. They currently include Adachi, Alta Strada, Casolare, Cavatina, Nama, Tico and The Riggsby.
· Jim Wallis is a New York Times bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, and international commentator on ethics and public life. He served on President Obama’s White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and was former vice chair of and currently serves on the Global Agenda Council on Values of the World Economic Forum. He is president and founder of Sojourners, where he is also editor-in-chief of Sojourners, which has a combined print and online readership of more than 5 million people. Jim frequently speaks in the United States and abroad. His columns appear in major newspapers, including The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe. He frequently appears on radio and television as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox—on shows such as Meet the Press and Hardball—and on National Public Radio. He has taught at Harvard University, Georgetown University, and a variety of other academic institutions.
· Sojourners mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, to inspire hope and build a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. They envision a future in which Christians put their faith into action in the passionate pursuit of social justice, peace, and environmental stewardship, working in partnership with people of other perspectives, for the common good of communities, families and individuals. We articulate that vision, convene and mobilize constituencies, and build alliances for effective advocacy. Sojourners magazine and Sojourners online publication sit at the intersection of faith, politics, and culture. Our coverage goes beyond the trending headlines to uncover and explore in depth the hidden injustices in the world around us.