Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.
In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.
As anti-racism protests continue across the United States and in different parts of the world, in this episode I'm joined by Masud Olufani, an African-American multidisciplinary artist, activist, writer, and Baha'i, who hosts a podcast called 'America's Most Challenging Issue', aimed at tackling the subject of racism in the US. Masud and I discuss racism and some of the challenges of eradicating it. He tells me what it's like to be a black man in the US, and the complexities of identity, and some of the mythologies tied into the fabric of American society. We talk about the idea of discomfort and growth, and how we have to be willing to grapple with it and bear the burden for the greater good. Masud tells me how he became a Baha'i, his work as an artist, and how the Baha'i Teachings and activities have not only changed his life, but can contribute towards racial harmony. I hope you find this important conversation as fruitful and enlightening as I did.
Find out more about some of the things we covered by checking out the following:
* Masud's website: https://www.masud-olufani.com/
* America's Most Challenging Issue podcast: https://bit.ly/2AoXW0N
* We share quote: "As to racial prejudice, the corrosion of which, for well-nigh a century, has bitten into the fiber, and attacked the whole social structure of American society, it should be regarded as constituting the most vital and challenging issue confronting the Baha’i community at the present stage of its evolution. The ceaseless exertions which this issue of paramount importance calls for, the sacrifices it must impose, the care and vigilance it demands, the moral courage and fortitude it requires, the tact and sympathy it necessitates, invest this problem with an urgency and importance that cannot be overestimated." -Shoghi Effendi
* Masud interview about his podcast: https://bit.ly/37mfvuu
* Masud article on racism & discomfort: https://bit.ly/2UOMDWT
* Masud's talk Freeing Ourselves of the Stain of Racism: https://bit.ly/37kj18F
* Masud's talk Healing Through Reclamation & Art: https://bit.ly/3dTHunQ
* Masud shares: "They whose hearts are warmed by the energizing influence of God’s creative 198 love cherish His creatures for His sake, and recognize in every human face a sign of His reflected glory." -Shoghi Effendi
* Rainn quotes Universal House of Justice: "When society is in such difficulty and distress, the responsibility of the Baha’is to make a constructive contribution to human affairs becomes more pronounced. This is a moment when distinct but interrelated lines of action converge upon a single point, when the call to service rings aloud. The individual, the community, and the institutions of the Faith—inseparable protagonists in the advancement of civilization—are in a position to demonstrate the distinctive features of the Baha’i way of life, characterized by increased maturity in the discharge of their responsibilities and in their relationships with each other. ... At a time when the urgency of attaining higher levels of unity, founded on the incontestable truth of humanity’s oneness, is becoming apparent to larger and larger numbers, society stands in need of clear voices that can articulate the spiritual principles that underlie such an aspiration."
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Thanks for listening!