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Driving, running down the street, or holding a cell phone. Because of racism, when you’re black, doing even the most basic of things could cost you your life. And when people harm black folks because of their prejudice and bias, “that’s a spiritual sickness,” says Sue St. Clair, an African American Baha’i living in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sue shares how she decided to take action in this short clip from the Race Unity Project. The series is produced by Journalism for Change, Inc, a nonprofit media organization founded by the 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.”

Sue says she reflected on a quote by Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith: “The betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct.” 

Because of this quote and others from the Baha’i Writings, she wondered, “What does that look like for me, when I say to myself that I’m working for the healing of racism?” Watch as Sue explains how the framework of Baha’i classes — known as “Ruhi” or a “study circle” — helped her expand her understanding of her role.


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  • Asghar Naqvi
    Jul 10, 2020
    Thank you for your courage to make this work of healing racism your focus. I believe it is a momentous stand and that every action you have taken will continue to have positive rippling effects to healing this systemic (like an autoimmune disease manifesting in widespread abscesses).
  • Ned Walker
    Jul 03, 2020
    I am deeply grateful for this posting and for Sue St. Clair's presentation. I feel like she "packaged" the guidance we have received into a response plan and form of action that can inspire all of us to act in a similar way. Thank you Liz and Sue.
  • Wakinyjan Tabart
    Jul 03, 2020
    thank you - and I love how you said you had to courage to have a voice about racism, but not in a way that would offend people.
  • Don Boykin
    Jul 03, 2020
    Thanks for this clear statement for action each individual can commit to their way of being a Baha'i.