National Leaders Call for Truth & Healing Action
E Pluribus Unum, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, hosts forum with religious, civic, cultural, and policy experts
NEW ORLEANS — Yesterday, E Pluribus Unum (EPU) and Founder Mitch Landrieu hosted Truth & Healing: A Call to Action, a virtual conversation highlighting the need to confront the issues of race and racism through formal Truth and Healing actions by federal, state, and local governments.
Underscoring the importance of a Truth & Healing conversation, a recent EPU survey found a strong majority of Southerners agreed that “it’s important to discuss issues of race with other people” versus shying away from it. At the same time, a growing number of white adults say we focus on race and racial issues “too much.” Indicating a growing divide, Black and Hispanic respondents were more intense in their beliefs that systemic racism is a major problem, while white respondents are now more likely to say they do not believe this.
“Racism remains this nation’s Achilles’ heel — if we do not face it and fix it, then we will continue to suffer.” said Mitch Landrieu, EPU Founder and former Mayor of New Orleans. “ We have a long way to go to fulfill America’s promise of justice and equal opportunity for every American. To get closer to fulfilling that aspiration, we first need a consensus about the history of racism in the U.S. and the effect it still has today. These conversations are difficult but necessary. Facing our nation’s truths is the first step towards healing.”
Featured event panels helped define what successful Truth & Healing models have looked like in America and elsewhere, as well as identified what pitfalls to avoid. The programming also explored the “how to” as opposed to just the”why” we need truth-telling at this moment.
Panel discussions included:
- Why it Matters: A conversation with cultural critics, historians, and leading voices in the Truth and Healing movement on why this issue matters and why the South should be leading the nation;
- Faith Conversation: The role of religious leaders in advancing conversations on race in America and how faith can inform our pathway towards racial healing;
- Truth in Action: Lessons learned and stories from local leaders and organizations who have led the charge in communities across America.
Mitch Landrieu, Founder, E Pluribus Unum
U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, D-California
Margaret Huang, President, Southern Poverty Law Center
Gail Christopher, Truth & Healing Leader and Equity Champion
Robert Jones, CEO, Public Religion Research Institute
Reverend Jim Wallis, Chair and Director, Center on Faith and Justice, Georgetown University
Jennifer Roberts, Former Charlotte Mayor and Commissioner of Reimagining America
Daniel Schwartz, Faith in Action Alabama
Ainka Jackson, Executive Director, Selma Center for Nonviolence
Neddie Winters, President, Mission Mississippi
Dr. Marcus Hunter, UCLA Professor and Co-Founder, #BreatheWithMe
To view the full online conversation, click here.
About E Pluribus Unum
Founded by former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in 2018, E Pluribus Unum (EPU) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to build a more just, equitable, and inclusive South, uprooting the barriers that have long divided the region by race and class. Incubated at Emerson Collective, EPU is focused on changing the divisive narratives that perpetuate systemic and interpersonal racism, cultivating and empowering courageous leaders who are advancing racial equity, and championing transformative policy change. To learn more, visit www.unumfund.org.