New Judson Press book calls us to the biblically inspired work of racial justice

VALLEY FORGE, PA (6/14/23)
— Following the murder of George Floyd and the high-profile, police-involved deaths of other Black, Indigenous and people of color, activist and author Curtiss Paul DeYoung responds with a collection of deep reflections on racial justice and Scripture. The newest Judson Press resource, “The Risk of Being Woke: Sermonic Reflections for Activists,” is a 21st-century call to embrace racial justice action, live in beloved community, and seek refreshing mystic moments as we emerge from a health pandemic and engage in a racial reckoning.

Living and writing in the city of Minneapolis, the national epicenter of a racial reckoning, in the state of Minnesota, where some of the United States’ worst racial disparities exist, DeYoung turns to the Bible for inspiration to continue the work of justice. He urges preachers, teachers and activists to remain spiritually awake as they strive for positive social change, and he hopes these reflections serve as motivation for one’s own oratorical promptings and social engagement.

Iva E. Carruthers, general secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, describes “The Risk of Being Woke” as “A wisdom text and soul protector for faithful activists in any season of the journey towards justice.” Edgardo A. Colón-Emeric, dean of the Duke University Divinity School, calls it “Food for the long, hard, joyful journey toward beloved community.” J. Alfred Smith Sr., pastor emeritus of Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, Calif., says, “It reignites the transformative relationship with the living God who calls us to love mercy and do justly.”

DeYoung is the CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches and served as the executive director of the Community Renewal Society in Chicago and professor of Reconciliation Studies at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn. He earned a seminary degree from Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, District of Columbia; is an ordained minister in the Church of God (Anderson); and has written and edited 12 books.

“The Risk of Being Woke” is available at and through other book retailers.

Founded in 1824, Judson Press a publishing ministry of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, produces Christ-centered spiritual and leadership resources for the transformation of individuals, congregations, and communities.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.