October 4, 2022

Episode 33 – “Finding Our Purpose” with William Pannell and Jemar Tisby

How do you grow up in a broken world and still find your voice, full and whole as God intended? In this episode of VOICES’ Where Ya From? podcast, Dr. William Pannell and Jemar Tisby share their stories of growing up with racism in the communities they loved and how breaking silence and embracing tension allows them to advocate for justice.
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Show Notes


Guest Bios:

William Pannell is professor emeritus of preaching at Fuller Seminary, where he taught from 1974 until his retirement in 2014. Fuller recognized his service to the school and the whole church with the January 2015 renaming and dedication of the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies. Previously serving in leadership roles with Youth for Christ and Tom Skinner Associates, his books include My Friend, the Enemy; Evangelism from the Bottom Up; and The Coming Race Wars? A Cry for Reconciliation, recently expanded. 

Jemar Tisby is the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism. His writing has been featured on CNN, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. He is the founder and president of The Witness—a Black Christian Collective and the cohost of the Pass the Mic podcast. He is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Mississippi.


Summary of EPISODE:

How do you grow up in a broken world and still find your voice, full and whole as God intended? When Dr. Pannell and Jemar Tisby grew up in the church, they both experienced a polite ignorance which worked to keep them “in their place” among their classmates and church family. They knew there was something deeply wrong, but they didn’t have the language or space to speak about it. 

Listen as Dr. Pannell and Tisby share their expertise on changing culture and developing language to foster wholeness in their brothers and sisters in Christ.


    Notes and Quotes:

    • “Racism is a severe denigration and restriction upon someone’s humanity. Because to be fully human, is to be in relationships, is to be a partner with others in a common humanity. You cannot be a full human being in isolation.”—William Pannell
    • “Whatever experience we go through, the Holy Spirit understands it all. He’s been there before. God’s been working on this for a long time.”—William Pannell
    • “Where love is the beating heart of justice, I always say we have to have a priestly proximity to people, particularly suffering people, because that breeds empathy, and empathy births love.” —Jemar Tisby
    • “Talk to the old saints. Talk to the folks who have been through some things that seem really unbelievable and like they were just about to break your spirit. And yet, they’re not only still here, but they still love the Lord. And they still love people.” —Jemar Tisby
    • “God’s got some wonderful people. They come in all kinds and sizes and shapes. Colors, blue, black, grizzly, and gray. We need each other. More than ever. We’ve got to find each other. And settle down and make ourselves at home with one another. Listen and learn.”—William Pannell


    Links Mentioned In Show:

    • Check out Jemar Tisby’s book How to Fight Racism.
    • Visit our website to sign up for emails. Get new episodes sent straight to your email. 
    • Tell us how much you love Where Ya From? by rating us five stars and leaving us a review
    • Check out our VOICES Collection from Our Daily Bread Ministries
    • Follow Where Ya From? on Instagram.
    • Here is a link to William Pannell’s book The Coming Race Wars.
    • Here is some information on Dr. Tom Skinner, as mentioned in this episode.
    • Follow VOICES on Instagram.


        Verses Mentioned in Show:

        • Mark 12:31
        • Ephesians
        • Colossians

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