(RNS) — Second gentleman Doug Emhoff lauded the interfaith work of Black religious communities for “saving lives” through distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations and for continuing efforts to get out the vote when he spoke at a midweek Black History Month event.
“Over the past year, Black faith communities have been working as trusted voices in their communities and getting the right facts and information out to their neighbors,” he said in remarks Wednesday (Feb. 23) at an online event co-hosted by the White House and the Black Interfaith Project. “This has led to millions upon millions of folks getting vaccinated.”
As the project of the Interfaith Youth Core launches with aims to convene Black religious leaders across faith lines for conversation and collaboration, Emhoff said his interfaith marriage with Kamala Harris, now the first Black female vice president, followed the discovery that their shared values were rooted in their different faiths.
“Faith and justice are very interrelated,” said Emhoff, a Jewish man married to a Baptist woman raised by a Hindu family. “And as an interfaith family ourselves we know that that same commitment to justice is a thread that runs through so many different religions.”
The event, the first after a year of meetings of Black leaders representing such faiths as Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism, was the public launch of the project that includes clergy, scholars and practitioners.