The Ignite Institute's Change Happens Now Podcast — Navigating Christian Ethics in a Complex World with Professor Lisa Asedillo and Dr. Traci West

PSR Stands in Solidarity and Grief with Tyre Nichols’ Family and Community

Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!” Genesis 4:10 

The Pacific School of Religion community mourns the violent death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis police officers after a traffic stop. The footage of his brutal beating bears horrifying witness, like the blood that cries from the ground, to the continued and persistent outrage of violence against Black bodies.

This atrocity and the legacies of systemic violence at the hands of those charged to “protect and serve” their communities impact many members of our extended community in particularly acute ways. As a majority people of color community, we know the long journey we must yet travel to create a world where all can thrive and remain steadfastly committed to pursuing it.

The radical change we need must be powered by deeply theological work — the kind of work PSR has been committed to for over 150 years. This theological work understands the realities of broken people and systems and calls them for what they are, but also sustains us and speaks courageously about what can and must be: God’s dream for the world. These calls for justice, and the skills needed to manifest them, are woven into every course in our curriculum, and every decision we make as an institution.

“We grieve with Tyre Nichols’ family and families across this nation who have been devastated by over-policing and police violence,” said PSR President David Vásquez-Levy, “and we stand strong in our commitment to educating leaders who can bring both hope and life-giving transformation to this world.”

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