The Reverend Amos C. Brown introduced President Russell M. Nelson at the 110th annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Detroit, Michigan in July 2019.
The two leaders met when the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began working together to improve self-reliance and upward mobility for inner-city and minority families.
The words of President Nelson and the Reverend Brown, recorded at the NAACP 2019 convention, are highlighted in this Church News video called, “Arm in Arm.”
Reflecting the power of their friendship and collaboration, President Nelson and the Reverend Brown — joined by Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO and Leon Russell, NAACP Chairman of the Board — co-authored a joint oped, titled “Locking arms about race in America: What the NAACP and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are doing together.”
“There’s too much division in our nation — too much incivility, disrespect,” said the Reverend Brown. “God didn’t ordain it that we would be about superficial ideas and attitudes, that if we don’t learn to live together as brothers and sisters, as my teacher Martin Luther King so eloquently said, ‘We will all perish as fools.’ We need each other. We should not turn on each other in these difficult times. We should turn to each other.”
President Nelson echoed the Reverend Brown’s words.
“We truly believe that we are brothers and sisters, all part of the same divine family,” he said. “Simply stated, we strive to build bridges of cooperation rather than walls of segregation. Black and white, bond and free, male and female — all are alike unto God.
“We don’t have to be alike or look alike to have love for each other. We don’t even have to agree with each other to love each other. If we have any hope of reclaiming the goodwill and sense of humanity for which we yearn, it must begin with each of us, one person at a time.
“Arm and arm and shoulder to shoulder, may we strive to lift our brothers and sisters everywhere.”