Posted on

For the better part of 25 years I have been a part of The Faith and Politics Institute community. It began when I was a young staffer in the late 90s for Rep. Fred Upton who co-lead the annual congressional pilgrimage to Selma, Alabama with Rep. Mel Watt. Joyce Brayboy was Rep. Watt’s chief of staff. This began under the leadership of Rev. Doug Tanner and the late Rep. John Lewis.

I’ve written extensively about my trips to Selma with Rep. John Lewis. However, reflecting on the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, I’m reminded of the incredible work we do outside of the annual pilgrimages. This photo (late 90s?) was from our Congressional Conversations on Race. I’m not sure our current politics would allow for such vulnerable, thoughtful conversations on the issue. Looking at the picture now, I wonder if my optimism was naïveté.

In 2014, I had the unique opportunity to travel to South Africa on a whirlwind trip and visited Archbishop Tutu’s home.

I still remain deeply committed to The Faith and Politics Institute, now serving on the Board of Directors with Joyce Brayboy. A special thank you to Fred and Amey Upton for creating the opportunity.

My optimism remains. The life of incredible men like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Lewis won’t let me believe otherwise.

Rest in heaven.