MICAH clergy calling on Memphians to denounce racism, violence against African Americans

Memphis faith leaders hope to turn protests into action

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tuesday religious leaders of MICAH, Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope, came together to support peaceful protesters and demand action by local political leaders.

MICAH is asking for a sit down meeting with both local mayors, Shelby County sheriff, the Memphis police director and the Shelby County district attorney to turn the momentum of these local protests into action.

“All lives do matter, but all lives will not matter until black lives matter,” said Stacy Spencer, the president of MICAH.

Speaking from the former site of the Memphis Slave Trade years ago, religious leaders representing more than 60 churches, synagogues and mosques spoke passionately in support of peaceful protests in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

MICAH Clergy Caucus calling on Memphians to denounce racism, violence against African Americans

“Today we stand together to say enough is enough and let’s change the narrative on this city to equity, to love and justice for all,” Spencer said.

“We hear your cries and we’re committing ourselves to ensure that our city hears them and that our world hears them as well,” said Rev. Scott Walters from Calvary Episcopal Church.

MICAH announced a request for a meeting with local mayors, law enforcement leaders and District Attorney Amy Weirich to work on issues of inequality and police brutality.

They say this meeting will be different than the meetings they’ve had in the past.

“We want to get back in the room with all of the organizations that are like-minded to hear us at the same time,” Spencer said.

As protests continue nationwide and in the Bluff City, Janiece Lee, vice president of MICAH, issued a challenge to white people in the Mid-South.

“Educate yourself, don’t expect anyone else to do it for you,” said Lee. “Read books, visit museums, watch documentaries that make you feel uncomfortable. Sit in that discomfort, grow in that space. And then act.”

WMC Action News 5 reached out to all the leaders that MICAH has requested a meeting with.

Sheriff Floyd Bonner said he would be willing to attend. Mayor Strickland’s office said he had not received any invitation but remains in communication with religious leaders.

The rest of the group has not responded thus far.

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