Who We Are
The Prophetic Resistance Project is an initiative of PICO National Network and is comprised of clergy, faith leaders and tribal elders from across the country. The project is staffed by PICO’s clergy organizing team - Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, Megan Black and Joe Fleming.
Centered on a Theology of Resistance, the Prophetic Resistance Project is facilitating a multi-faith discourse that helps people of faith and moral courage bring life to the stories, values, and teachings that inspire our resistance.
Faithful, moral, spiritual, prophetic resistance is a faith-rooted orientation that equips us for the titanic struggle before us. In the spirit of prophets, both ancient and contemporary, we stand ready to be a light in the darkness, to be water in the parched land, and to be prophets of the resistance.
The idea of resistance has been trending on social media since the election, but at PICO, we have been curating an exploration into the idea of resistance since the summer of 2014. During a PICO National Network weeklong training, clergy engaged in a conversation centered on this question: Are you a chaplain to the Empire or a prophet of the Resistance? This question provoked a lively conversation about the values of the dominant culture (empire) and how they threaten and compromise the wellbeing of our communities. It also created space to examine our complicity with these values and the call of diverse spiritual traditions to resist injustice in all its forms.
A few weeks later, when Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed in Ferguson, Mo., the provocation that this one question sparked continued in the hearts and minds of many PICO leaders. Throughout the fall, as delegations of PICO clergy and organizers cycled in and out of Ferguson, we learned about the structural racism shaping life for many young people and poor families. We also learned about tensions between young people and church leaders, that were reflective of the generational challenges we were experiencing in many of our own communities across the nation.
PICO clergy were compelled to critique and denounce narratives and structures that oppress, we were also called to confess our own sins, our own tendencies to become chaplains to these narratives and structures. We desired a theological discourse about how we further develop our capacity to be prophetic voices that dismantle the “logic and impulse” of empire in ourselves, in our relationships, in the structures that shape our lives, and in the broader cultural milieu.
And so the Prophetic Resistance Project was born.