#blacklivesmatter Faith Resource Guide

  |February 11, 2015

Actions | Photos | Videos | Statements & Press Releases | Media | Resources

“Eric Garner couldn’t breathe. And as a pastor and man of faith, I know that my faith can’t breathe until we transform our sadness into a faith-rooted movement for real police reform, working for the restoration of a broken criminal justice system.” – @PeterHeltzel

People of faith and moral courage – including pastors, rabbis, and imams – across New York are calling out for justice, accountability and reform after a grand jury in Staten Island failed to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the homicide of Eric Garner. Find what you need for a faithful response to the Eric Garner case below.

Click here for letter text and Clergy signer list. Click here for the press release.

Any questions or want to arrange an interview? Call Isaac Luria at 917.455.6203 or email him at [email protected]



Mon. Dec. 8 – Prayer Service #GodCantBreathe @ 11am, St. Paul’s Chapel (209 Broadway at Fulton Street)

Mon. Dec. 8 – Uniform Justice staged reading @ 7pm, Middle Collegiate Church (112 2nd Ave.) – a play that puts front and center the important ways law enforcement and citizens can work on reconciliation.

Fri. Dec. 12 – PICO Action: Prayers, Praise and People Protest @ 3:30pm, City Hall

Sat. Dec. 13 – Day of Anger – Millions March New York City #MillionsMarchNYC @ 2pm, Washington Square Park

Thurs. Dec. 18 – Citywide Multifaith Prayer Breakfast for the Healing of the Nation @ 8:30am, Union Theological Seminary (3041 Broadway and 121st). RSVP here. 

Mon. Dec. 22 – Pray-In for family of NYPD officers killed @ noon, 120th Street and Broadway. RSVP here.

Mon. Jan. 19 – #Dream4Justice March @ noon, 110th and Lenox. RSVP here.



 #GodCantBreathe NYC Clergy Action, Dec. 8, 2014.

Gamaliel Action in St. Louis & National Leadership Conference, Dec. 9, 2014.



Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival,” by SALT Project.

Pray-In for Community/Police Peace,” Dec. 22, 2014.

Browns’ Andrew Hawkins explains why he wore a ‘Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford’ T-shirt,” Dec. 15, 2014.

Action in St. Louis,” by Gamaliel, Dec. 9, 2014.

Race in America Sermon” by Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Trinity Church/St. Paul’s Chapel, Dec. 7, 2014.

God Can’t Breathe Sermon” by Rev. Dr. Mark Bozzuti-Jones, Trinity Church/St. Paul’s Chapel, Dec. 7, 2014.

How Long?” a song for Advent 2014 by Mark Andrew Miller, Dec. 6, 2014.

Crashing Light in the Shadows,” Middle Collegiate Church Sermon, Nov. 30, 2014.

Faithful Disobedience,” Chad Tanaka Pack, Middle Collegiate Church Sermon, Aug. 17, 2014.

Morning Prayer #Ferguson,” Rev. Adriene Thorne, Middle Collegiate Church, Aug. 17, 2014.

I Can’t Breathe,” Broadway street performance, July 31, 2014.

Ella’s Song,” Sweet Honey in the Rock

Statements & Press Releases:


A Pastoral Letter from Concerned Faith Leaders in the City of New York

National Council of Churches

Auburn Seminary

The Episcopal Diocese of New York


African American Episcopal Church




Black churches are no longer ground zero for civil rights activism,” Religion News Service. Dec. 18, 2014.

Thousands join ‘justice for all’ march,” Washington Post. Dec. 13, 2014.

‘Black Lives Matter’ focus on churches on Sunday,” The Blade. Dec. 12, 2014.

Wear black on Sunday to show solidarity,” The Mennonite. Dec. 10, 2014.

A Die-in at City Hall,” The New York Times. Dec. 9, 2014.

#GodCantBreathe: Clergy and City Council members ‘die-in’ at City Hall because #BlackLivesMatter,” Groundswell. Dec. 9, 2014.

Two dozen city leaders protest chokehold, Ferguson decisions,” New York Post. Dec. 8, 2014.

NYC clergy join Black and Latino City Council Caucus ‘Die In’ to protest Eric Garner killing,” Huffington Post. Dec. 8, 2014.

NYC Clergy take part in ‘die-in’ to protest police violence in US,” Telesur. Dec. 8, 2014.

‘Week of Outrage’ over police killings begins in NYC as protests grow larger and louder,” Vice News. Dec. 8, 2014.

Protesters bring the protest inside City Hall,” The Epoch Times. Dec. 8, 2014.

Garner Supporters Protest at Barclays as Will and Kate Attend Nets Game,” NBC. Dec. 8, 2014.

Council members block traffic on Broadway in Eric Garner protest,” NY Daily News. Dec. 8, 2014.

Council brings Garner protests to City Hall,” WNYC. Dec. 8, 2014.

City Council members block traffic to protest Eric Garner decision,” New York Observer. Dec. 8, 2014.

New York City Council members demonstrate after Eric Garner decision,” Huffington Post. Dec. 8, 2014.

Council Woman Debi Rose leads protest at City Hall after Eric Garner grand jury decision,” Silive.com. Dec. 8, 2014.

Tributes to Eric Garner at Barclays Center, City Hall,” Newsday. Dec. 8, 2014.

City Council protest & die-in,” New York True. Dec. 8, 2014.

Members of New York City Council perform die-in demonstration…,” Trust.org. Dec. 8, 2014.

From pulpits and preachers, responses to the Garner case,” WNYC. Dec. 5, 2014.

Sharpton to lead march in Washington protesting ‘police violence,’” The Hill. Dec. 4, 2014.



Litany for Justice & Healing by Fr. Keith Johnson, St. Philips

Message from UMC Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church

A New Testament of Hope by Darren Walker, Ford Foundation

A Pastoral Letter to my Electeds: We Can’t Breathe by Donna Schaper, Judson Memorial Church

Illumine Peace by Amy K. Butler, The Riverside Church

Learning Lament: One Day in Ferguson by Amy K. Butler, The Riverside Church

Black Lives Matter—Go to an African-American Church in Solidarity This Sunday Morning by Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun Magazine

The Road Not Taken by Rev. Frederick Davie, Union Theological Seminary

America, Who Are We? by Charles M. Blow, The New York Times

The Laws That Killed Eric Garner by Rabbi Jay Michaelson

‘Right Now Jesus Is Saying: I Can’t Breathe’ Religious Leaders React To Non-Indictment In Garner Case by Rev. Dr. Leslie Callahan, St. Paul’s Baptist Church

An Advent and Christmas Message of Hope by Bishop Dietsche & Bishop Shin, Episcopal Diocese of New York

Praying Our Way to Change, a letter by Collegiate Church clergy

What the Ferguson Protests Mean for Religious Progressive Activism by Shannon Craigo-Snell, Louisville Seminary

It’s High Time White Christians Listen to our Black Brothers and Sisters  by Jonathan Merritt, Religious News Service

It’s Time We Stop Washing our Hands by Carol Howard Merritt, Tribal Church

If I Close My Eyes, Maybe It Will Go Away by Rev. John Vaughn, Auburn Seminary

Cracked Wide Open Around Race by Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Middle Collegiate Church

The Stones Cry Out by Rev. Winnie Varghese, St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery

Michael Brown’s Death and the Prophetic Fire by Cornel West/Union Theological Seminary & Peter Heltzel/New York Theological Seminary

Reflections of an American Muslim Mother on #Ferguson by Linda Sarsour, Arab American Association of New York

President Obama’s Plan to Strengthen Community Policing, White House

Womanist listserv: For African American women in religious studies

Columbia professors provide facts on Grand Jury practice in light of Ferguson decision by Professors Jeffrey Fagan and Bernard E. Harcourt, Columbia Law School

Are we missing something?

Click here to send links to faith-based articles and media to info [at] groundswell-mvmt.org.