Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson and hall-of-fame football coach Tony Dungy will join pastors, authors, former NFL players and media personalities at a Florida megachurch in February to discuss how faith can be used to bridge the racial divide facing the United States.
Tyndale House Publishers has announced that it will host the “Under Our Skin” forum on race and faith at The Crossing Church in Tampa on Feb. 16, which is named after Watson’s popular 2015 book, Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race and Getting Free From the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us.
Along with Watson and Dungy, the event will also feature popular CBS sportscaster James Brown, former Heisman Trophy-winner Danny Wuerffel, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn and University of South Florida head football coach Charlie Strong.
In addition, the forum will include insight from former NCAA women’s soccer standout and New York Times best-selling author Mo Isom, Pastor J. Kevin Butcher from Hope Community Church in Detroit, Michigan, and Ben Sciacca, the executive director of Restoration Academy in Birmingham, Alabama. The event will be moderated by ESPN anchor Sage Steele.
“The important thing when you talk about race in this country or any type of causes like this, is that it’s important to have a variety of different views,” Watson, a devout Christian and 13-year NFL veteran, told The Christian Post on Tuesday. “This is a faith-based forum and all the speakers are people of faith, for the most part. But there is a lot of difference when it comes to their economic background, their racial, ethnic or cultural background.”
“Even though most of their occupations are sports themed, for some of us, it is not. We have pastors involved, authors, moms, coaches, players, broadcasters — people of different walks of life,” he added. “So, it is important whenever we are talking about this issue to realize that it is something that affects everybody. It is a very multifaceted and complex conversation that needs to be had and it is important to have those voices.”
The forum will run from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. and feature music from singer/songwriter Lizzy Cameron and the musical duo Seth & Nirva. The forum can be attended in person or viewed via webcast.
Watson told CP that having a person like Steele moderating the event will bring a much needed perspective to the racial conversation since she comes from a bi-ethnic family.
“That is a very valuable perspective because one of the biggest things when it comes to race is being able to put ourselves in someone else’s experience,” Watson said. “Even if we don’t agree initially, we may find some things that we didn’t know before, some things that we didn’t understand and couldn’t understand simply because it wasn’t our experience.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post