“Kindness is not justice, and charity is not reconciliation.” -Tyler Burns.
Tyler Burns is a pastor, podcaster (Pass the Mic), writer, husband, father, president of The Witness BCC, and prophetic voice for justice in our time. He quotes often to others that “leaders are born in the time they are needed most” and this is true of him as well. His love for God, people, and his deep commitment to justice is so needed in our time.
During our time in the Gulf Shores I was able to photograph Tyler and his amazing wife Mylena in their community.
I personally have been listening and learning from Tyler and Jemar Tisby for years and am beyond grateful for their voices in leading and speaking hard truths. I found Pass the Mic at a time when I was struggling to make sense of the teachings of Jesus and the historic and current actions of his followers. I knew of my own complicity in the racist systems and structures that had and do dictate so much of our current realities and I knew I needed to learn and not lead in this area.
“You care about racial justice or “unity” in the church? Great. Here is a question for you: Would you rather FEEL better or DO better? Because you can either have reconciliation or comfort, but you can’t have both.” -Tyler Burns (via Twitter).
Listen and be prepared to have your world view challenged and your life messed up- in the best ways. It requires change and action. Those things are long overdue for most white people. In a recent sermon he asked, “Have you been proximate with no power?” This is a question for many with privilege to evaluate our lives and ask tough questions. May we be brave enough to sit with the answers, learn from others, and humbly engage in the work of dismantling the harm of racism. Tyler Burns and many others are leading the way.
Mylena and Tyler love their city of Pensacola and Tyler was recently named one of Inweekly News’ 2021 Rising Stars in the city and I am grateful they showed me around.
The Witness is an organization that is “encouraging, educating, and empowering Black Christians to be stewards of the Black prophetic tradition.”
You can learn more an support their important work at The Witness Foundation.
Thank you Tyler & Mylena and may God continue to bless your crucial work in our world.
A visual storyteller that focuses on human emotion & connection. I help families, individuals, & couples to share their beautiful messy story.
I also partner with humanitarian, non-for-profit organizations, and NGOs share their stories with intention, dignity, & excellence, so they can have a greater impact on their communities.