We made it, you guys—we’re finally turning the corner into a brand-new year and into the hope of a fresh start. And while 2021 will no doubt have its set of challenges, we’ve set our minds to living in the moment while we wait for a post-pandemic world to settle in, thanks to inspiration from minister and activist Cece Jones-Davis. Cece was one of our favorite 2020 guests, and she’s back to lead us through a vigil on what we’ve walked through this year and reflect on all the beautiful things we have to look forward to. Cece reminds us that the weariness we feel from this year can be a powerful catalyst towards change for the better, and why 2021 can be the year of “Alive” (which happens to be the title of her brand-new worship album!). And here’s a little reminder for you, sister: as we enter a new chapter, remember that God is alive in you, and He has plans for hope and a future with your name written right on top.
As lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson puts it, slavery never actually ended—it just evolved, and today it looks like mass incarceration. In the past fifty years, we’ve seen the prison population skyrocket from 200,000 in 1970 to 2.2 million in 2020. In fact, America holds just 5% of the world’s population but more than 25% of the world’s prisoners, where Black people clock in five times the number of inmates as white people. It is imperative that our generation abolish the overcriminalization of Black women, children, and men. And today we’re learning a bit more from CeCe Jones-Davis on how to bring that world to fruition. She’s an activist, a worship leader, and a teacher of social gospel who’s made it her mission to expose the underbelly of the criminal justice system as she fights for the freedom of a man she believes has been wrongfully convicted: Julius Jones. CeCe also shares the influences and experiences in her life that broke her heart and gave her a passion to advocate for others, and she helps us wrap our minds around what it looks like for the justice system to represent not a hope that truth will prevail, but a fear that bias for the color of your skin and socioeconomic status will remove you from your life and your family, and won’t allow you to return. CeCe reminds us that realigning the gears of the justice system is too big a task for one person to bear alone—but if we each pick up our small piece, it’s a load we can carry together.