“I think the most valuable tool that we [the Baha'is] have to combat racism, as a community of Faith, is: 1) our scripture; and 2) our institutions,” says Eric Dozier, a Baha'i living in Florida. In this short clip from “The Race Unity Project,” Eric shares how protecting Black people is integral to the Baha'i teachings.
Produced by Journalism for Change, Inc, a nonprofit media organization founded by filmmaker and human rights activist Maziar Bahari, the project tells “the century-long story of the American Baha’i community and its efforts — as well as its tests and challenges — in promoting race unity.”
Indeed, according to the Baha'i writings, racial prejudice has “attacked the whole social structure of American society” and “should be regarded as constituting the most vital and challenging issue.”
Regarding racism, Eric says it’s significant that the Baha'i writings tell us “if we don’t address this particular issue, that we will incur the wrath and chastisement of God.”
“It is mandatory for our spirits and hearts to engage in this work” of eradicating racism, he says.
In fact, Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, wrote in 1938 that every Baha'i “should feel it to be its first and inescapable obligation to nurture, encourage, and safeguard every minority belonging to any faith, race, class, or nation within it.”
Watch as Eric shares stories of how Abdu’l-Baha, one of the central figures of the Baha'i Faith perfectly exemplified what it looks like to be free from prejudice and demonstrate race unity in every aspect of his life.
“You have to call people that have been pushed out of certain places because of the color of their skin…to the center of the room,” Eric says.
Radiance Talley is the community and content manager at BahaiTeachings.org. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in communication, a College Park Scholars Arts Citation, and a cognate in journalism. In addition to her writing, drawing, presentation, and public speaking experience, Radiance...READ MORE