The last two weeks have seen intense social unrest across the country with two different incidents of African American males being shot in Minnesota and Louisiana, followed by protests organized by the Black Lives Matter movement, and punctuated with a sniper killing five police officers and wounding numerous others including some civilians in Dallas.

Our national attention continues to struggle with affording movements like Black Lives Matter with their constitutional First Amendment rights of freedom of assembly and freedom to petition the government for grievance while encouraging all parties to seek civil and inclusive dialogue. President Obama hosted a national town hall meeting to address the subject. The President also spoke at the memorials for the Dallas police officers where former President Bush also joined him in a show of solidarity. The current political climate does not seem to encourage tolerance and respect amongst disagreeing parties, so the sitting and former Presidents attempted to provide the leadership that could bring us toward that goal.

FAV prays that our country is able to address racial bias and promote the aspirational principles set out in our founding documents, that all are created equal and should share in the benefits of liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness. At a time of national grieving and soul searching, we all need to play a constructive healing role in the dialogue. Our current strife is not just a policing issue or a matter for African Americans to deal with. It is a matter for all Americans to engage in and help chart an inclusive course of citizenship that moves the country toward our founding ideals.