We, the members of the Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council SMAIC), represent a variety of religions, genders, races, and nationalities. We come together as an expression of unity, for we know any spiritual practice based in love leads to caring for all of our siblings, regardless of our differences. Our mission is to bring that love to the greater community, through action.

The members of SMAIC are grateful for the guilty verdict but understand that we still have a lot of work to do. We must continue to speak out against injustice, especially when that very justice is failed by the systems intended to protect it. This nation, and perhaps the world, will never forget George Floyd’s name, nor the symbol he has become for all who have suffered needlessly at the hands of hate. It took the painful experience of watching a man beg for his mother with his last breath and lose his life at the hands of another man for some of us to wake up to what others of us already knew… that violent racism has been simmering in our country since its inception, and that our nation does not yet offer every soul life, liberty, and happiness. Working for a more beloved community means actively engaging in the struggle to change the systems that enable these actions.

Even as we are grateful for this verdict, may we all serve justice by reaching out to one another with loving demands for equality and fairness. May we stand together as one humanity, arm in arm, and march toward righteousness. We will not forget. We will never stop. #BlackLivesMatter

Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen
President, Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council