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Quilt squares created at a conference on black Mormon pioneers
Finding a spiritual home...when you're in the minority
April 27, 2018
Five African Americans share the challenges they face – and the purpose they find – in smaller, predominantly white spiritual communities.
A recent conference in Washington DC explored the black pioneers of the Mormon church.
Pioneering black identity in the LDS church April 27, 2018
For siblings LaShawn Williams, Eunicia “Niecie” Jones and James Jones, being raised in a military family meant there were only two constants in their life: family and church. The three were raised Mormon and often were the only black members in their congregation. Moreover, they had to reconcile their faith with the painful fact that for most their church’s history before 1978, black members were denied access to the priesthood and certain blessings and rituals in the temple. Despite that fact, they all find a powerful reason to stay. Plus, we travel to the conference LaShawn, Niecie, and James organized called "The Legacy of Black LDS Pioneers," to hear how other Mormons are confronting their church’s painful past.

LaShawn Williams, Eunicia “Niecie” Jones and James Jones, organizers of The Legacy of Black LDS Pioneers

The three siblings, from left to right: James, Niecie, and LaShawn
Capers Funnye
One of U.S.' few black rabbis on Judaism's need to evolve April 27, 2018
Less than 2% of the U.S. population is Jewish, and only a very small portion of that is black. Capers Funnye was raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and was actually encouraged to become a pastor. Instead, he went to rabbinical school, being ordained by an Israelite academy and becoming one of the few black rabbis in the country. He explains why more African Americans are finding their ways to his congregation from other traditions and how Judaism must become more welcoming to keep its faithful in the fold.

Rabbi Capers Funnye, from Beth Shalom Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation
Stephanie Lecci | Interfaith Voices
Leaving the black church, and gaining a humanist mission April 27, 2018
Sincere Kirabo was raised Pentecostal and, by his early twenties, was a fervent believer who became a born-again Christian. But that started to change after he saw "The Da Vinci Code." While the movie is fiction, Kirabo says it got him to question his beliefs for the first time in his life. Through a slow process over many years, he came to identify as an atheist. But Kirabo tells us that when some black Americans leave the historically black Protestant tradition, they're also leaving behind a tight-knit community and decades of history. He says he wants to help other non-believers to find a new home by helping establish the new Black Humanist Alliance.

Sincere Kirabo, of the American Humanist Association