Religion as a Calling, Social Justice as a Mission
21 Mar 2014
Posted by Elise Durham
Photo: Courtesy the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
At 17, the cause of social justice became real to Stephen Green. The Orlando native was in high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, at a time when crime was at a fever pitch. It was 2009 and the anti-violence/anti- bullying rally “Enough is Enough” was on the horizon. Green’s participation in it would change his focus forever.
During his freshman year at Morehouse, and as a member of the student chapter of the NAACP, Green found himself entrenched in the protest against the execution of Troy Davis, the Georgia man executed in 2011 for murdering a police officer despite serious doubts about his guilt. In 2013, he led a student rally at the Georgia State Capitol demanding justice for Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teenager who was gunned down by a man claiming his actions were just because of the controversial Stand Your Ground law.
The senior religion major said his life mission is dealing with the ills that affect human rights. And his activism has not gone unnoticed. TheRoot.com recently named Green to the social activism and justice category on the 2014 Young Futurists list.
Through his experiences at Morehouse, he has been able to find common ground between field work and course work.
“Whether it is a thesis project or a blog that I have to create for a class, I’ve been able to marry my passion with the knowledge I’ve gathered in the classroom,” he said.
As a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel Assistants Program, Green has witnessed how the tradition of social justice has roots in the religious tradition. During a 2012 trip to Japan, he got a chance to understand the need for justice as well as the need for peace.
“That trip helped me to connect what is happening in the United States with common struggles for human and civil rights across the globe. The experience united us as a community of young people fighting in the struggle,” he said.
Green also said his brothers at Morehouse have broadened his perspectives.
“Conversations in the dorms, with classmates from across the world, about what it means to be a young black male have helped me develop a different outlook on how causes should be approached.”
After graduation, Green plans to attend seminary at either Union Theological Seminary or Harvard Divinity School in pursuit of ordination.
“Whether it’s from the pulpit, the classroom or the legal bench,” he said, “social justice will always be at the heart of the work I’ll do.”