Finding the beauty and strength of our commitment to all
The BJC FaithFULL community is made up of monthly donors who are passionate about religious freedom for all. Cassandra Lawrence shares more about her work and why she supports BJC.
Cassandra Lawrence is a BJC Fellow and member of our Faith FULL Community. She works with the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign as the communications and community engagement manager, where she equips, connects and mobilizes faith communities and people of goodwill to counter anti-Muslim discrimination. We asked her to share more about her work and her support of BJC.
What’s a highlight from your time in the BJC Fellows Program?
I loved being in a learning space with law students, clergy and community leaders, all learning together and with each other. After attending the BJC Fellows Seminar, I understand more clearly that it is the details of how we form our “more perfect union,” establish justice, and the “blessings of liberty” where the beauty and strength of our commitment can be found.
How does your work at Shoulder to Shoulder intersect with your advocacy for religious freedom?
The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign is a multifaith coalition addressing anti-Muslim discrimination and violence through engaging faith communities. We believe that anti-Muslim discrimination is not just a “Muslim issue” but a problem that impacts us all. We work to help faith communities better understand how anti-Muslim discrimination impacts Muslims in their daily lives. We help faith communities and faith leaders connect their ideals and values to this work, supporting them as we continue to create a country where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Our work intersects with religious freedom when schools fail to provide appropriate and legally mandated accommodations to students, teachers and administrators so they can have Eid as a holiday or fail to provide halal food for the cafeteria. It shows up in prisons when a person who is sentenced to death is not allowed to have an Imam with them in their final moments when a Christian is allowed to have a pastor or priest. It shows up when city zoning boards create burdensome regulations and zoning requirements for a new mosque, masjid or Islamic center while not enforcing those same requirements for new church buildings.
Why do you choose to support BJC every month?
BJC helps me navigate the complex Supreme Court cases and government policies in a way that I can respect, even if I don’t always agree. It helps Christians like myself understand the ways Christian nationalism hurts our churches, our religious communities and our country. It helps Christians know and join the community of people who are putting their faith ideals into action to protect faith freedom for all.
As a vegetarian, what restaurant is next on your list?
This might be controversial, but I don’t really like the Impossible or Beast burgers. I’ve heard that Shouk, a local chain in the Washington, D.C.-area, has a delicious burger I’ve been meaning to try, and this question now made my Friday plans.
Join Cassandra and others in our Faith FULL Community of monthly donors. Regular support — in any amount — provides the BJC staff with the knowledge that others are working and supporting us in our work, day in and day out. BJC also provides special communications to members of the Faith FULL Community, sharing updates on our work.
To join the Faith FULL Community and set up a monthly gift to BJC, visit BJConline.org/give-monthly. If you have questions or want to learn more, you can contact Danielle Tyler, associate director of development, by phone at 317-523-4076 or by email at [email protected].