The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans, author letter of support for the release of Dr. Mutulu Shakur.
April 2, 2018
- Patricia Wilson Smoot
Chairperson U.S. Parole Commission
90 K Street, N.E., Third Floor
Washington, D.C. 20530
Re: Interim Parole Hearing – Mutulu Shakur, BOP Reg. No. 83205-012
Dear Chairperson Smoot, members of the Parole Commission, and Hearing Examiner:
I am the President and founder of the National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a coalition of 15 religious denominations consisting of a 34,000-church network working to address issues of racial disparity in several areas including healthcare, education, and housing.
I understand that Dr. Mutulu Shakur was denied parole in 2016, in part, because he signed two letters with the salutation “stiff resistance.” I believe that the Parole Commission understood this salutation to mean that upon release Dr. Mutulu would offend again.
I am informed that Dr. Shakur has not been involved in a single violent incident in thirty years of incarceration and that since his 1988 conviction he has consistently promoted and supported the peaceful resolution of social conflicts.
Use of the salutation “stiff resistance” in this situation in no way invokes the notion that Dr. Shakur was encouraging others to engage in lawless behavior. To dissuade the Commission from this misunderstanding, I have been informed that Dr. Shakur has even stopped using the salutation “stiff resistance.” When someone consistently promotes the non-violent and lawful resolution of justice, and then uses the salutation “stiff resistance,” that salutation must be read in the context of the author’s substantive message, not read in isolation. Given his thirty years of avoiding any incidents of violence while serving his sentence, and his open and public support for peaceful and democratic change, I sincerely hope the Commission does not deny Dr. Shakur parole merely because in the past he occasionally ended letters with the salutation “stiff resistance.” There are many examples of individuals engaging in “stiff resistance” to personal failure, bad habits, selfishness or even the temptation of crime. Some who care about social justice may also express stiff resistance to injustice, or poverty.
Respectfully, your humble servant in Christ
Reverend Anthony Evans
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 African American and Latino Churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, Churches and the public. Our methodology is utilizing faith and sound health science.
NBCI’s purpose is to partner with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work. Visit our website at www.naltBlackChurch.com.