Joe Mitchell

Diverse Faiths, Common Ground

Jun 29, 2016

On June 12, 2016, a gunman killed 49 people and injured an additional 53 at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This was a tragic event and a sad day in American history.

The Greatest For More Than One Reason

Jun 8, 2016

Last Saturday morning, the world awoke to the sad news that Muhammad Ali had lost his final fight. Social Media has been abuzz as people mourn and pay their respects to this American hero.

He will be remembered for his amazing boxing career, where he amassed a record of 56-5 and remains the only three-time lineal world heavyweight champion winning titles in ‘64, ‘74, and ‘78.

Making Change Requires Truth

May 18, 2016

“Better to get hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie,” is a quote credited to Khaled Hosseini, an Afghan-born American novelist and physician. There’s no doubt in my mind there is a lot of substance in that statement.

Rights Require Responsibilities, Too

Apr 6, 2016

There has been quite a bit of conversation around “freedom of speech” since March 11, when the leading GOP presidential candidate’s rally in Chicago was cancelled. In a phone interview with MSNBC, the candidate asked, “What ever happened to freedom of speech?”

I reluctantly participated in a discussion about the violation of the presidential candidate’s First Amendment rights. I reminded everyone involved in the conversation that the multi-billionaire cancelled the rally out of “safety concerns” … thus, his rights were not violated. He could have spoken; he chose not to.

Use All Your Hard-Won Rights

Mar 16, 2016

I’ve been perplexed by some recent articles and conversations on Social Media.

Some African-Americans -- including faith leaders -- are urging people of color not to vote because none of the candidates for president have an African-American agenda. While I don’t necessarily agree with their position, I do understand.

I stand in total disagreement with the suggestion African-Americans shouldn’t vote. As an African-American, I have the rights that I do today because of the price paid by those who came before me.

More Than Just One Month's History

Feb 24, 2016

Carter G. Woodson was an author and historian who earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University.  In February of 1926, he announced “Negro History Week” -- which would eventually give way to Black History Month.  

For the last 90 years, February has served as a time to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of African-Americans in this country. 

The Real Solution To Gun Violence

Feb 3, 2016

Already in Chicago, the third-largest city in America, more than 225 people have been shot -- 50 fatally -- in January. One hundred of them were shot in the first ten days of the month. The majority of the shootings happened on the West and South sides of the city.

I don’t relieve anyone of their personal responsibility to respect and honor life -- nor do I dismiss a person’s consequence for taking someone else’s life. But, until the root of the problem is addressed, little will change.

Seeing The Right Aspect Of People

Jan 13, 2016

Society has developed an unwritten code to determine a person’s value based on their socio-economic status. 

In some respects, classism has become the new racism, where information like your address or which box you check -- own or rent -- predestines some for a certain level of engagement.

Assumptions are made about school-age children if they live in well-known subsidized housing projects. Or better yet, if you attended certain high schools in Chicago, some assume you were accepted into NIU via non-traditional admission programs. 

Women Need Roles In Churches, Too

Oct 14, 2015

Last month Pope Francis -- the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church -- made his first visit to the United States.

During his address to a joint meeting of Congress, the Pope expressed concerns over capitalism and materialism. He also commented on the need to take care of the poor and the necessity to be kind to immigrants.

While here he also turned down an invitation to have lunch with some powerful politicians; instead, he broke bread with a group of homeless Americans.

Don't Teach Racism; Learn Differences

Sep 9, 2015

Since the death of Michael Brown and the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri, there has been renewed dialogue around racism. Discussions on the topic have the propensity to make participants uncomfortable and unwilling to truly engage the topic.

Those of us who have been around for a while remember such conversations after the Rodney King events in 1991.

After the shooting at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, a particular television network led conversions that racism was a disease. I found this ideology to be repulsive and insulting.

Silence Isn't Always Golden

Aug 5, 2015

One of the ways I knew I was transitioning from a young man to a man was when I realized “silence was golden”.

Everything I cognitively processed didn’t need to be expressed vocally. Some things were better left unspoken. This proved to be extremely helpful when I got married.

Joe Mitchell

Aug 5, 2015

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., George Joseph “Joe” Mitchell was raised in DeKalb, where he is the bi-vocational co-pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

He earned a Business Management degree from Judson College and a Masters of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. He completed his doctorate in divinity at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.

He and his wife Andria have been married for more than 15 years. He is the proud father of Nevaeh, Joseph and Nadia.