In partnership with the Scarritt-Bennett Center, Vanderbilt Divinity School offers laity and clergy the opportunity to explore different ways to combine leadership development through justice-making via lectures by poets and writers, workshops on social change, other artistic media, and a Civil Rights immersion. This partnership draws on the expertise of both institutions and their historic commitments to offer people of faith resources for building a more just and faithful future.
Tearing Hatred From The Sky delivered by Bree Newsome
Born with an artist’s soul and spirit, Bree Newsome has always been sensitive to the essential role that art and symbols play in shaping culture and consciousness. As she watched the funeral of Rev. Clemenza Pinkney, one of 9 people slaughtered in the name of white supremacy at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, SC, she recognized the message being communicated clearly by the US flag and the SC state flag at half-mast while the Confederate flag remained fully furled. Refusing to accept the premise of this image – that white supremacy is supreme, untouchable and invincible – she scaled the 30ft flagpole in front of the SC statehouse and removed the “stars and bars” declaring, “This flag comes down today!” Bree’s intention was to create a new image, a new symbol and a new consciousness of the power inherent in direct action. The iconic picture of her on the pole, flag in hand has become a touchstone of empowerment for disenfranchised people around the world.