"How do we talk about love to people who don't want it?" he asked. "Love them anyway."
In an interview after the session, Curry said he has seen this in action in a former Ku Klux Klan member, in a family accepting an LGBTQ member and in the reactions of some of the survivors of the shooting victims at Mother Emanuel AME Church. In 2015, they had welcomed the shooter into their Bible study, where he killed nine people.
"They didn't stop loving," he said. "How they forgave him, who knows how to do that?"
The forum also included a panel discussion about how to bring about what Curry called the Beloved Community in health care, education and the justice system.
State Epidemiologist Linda Bell said health care is actually sick care. The priority ought to be on keeping people from getting sick. She said a person's medical outcomes can be predicted by their ZIP code.
The coronavirus pandemic drove home this point, Bell said. Black people were more susceptible to getting the virus and, overall, had worse outcomes.
"I hope we won't forget that. We can change environments," she said. It's a matter of deciding it is a priority.
Robin Coletrain, principal at W.A. Perry Middle School, said she works every day to even out the inequities in education. In a former school, when she asked for something, she got it immediately. At Wright, it took longer at first, but she kept pushing.
"It's hard work, but it's heart work," she said.
Aulzue "Blue" Fields, outreach coordinator at Turn90, a group that works with former inmates, said he spent 17 years in prison and felt the judgment of people when he tried to turn his life around. He said the lack of compassion and opportunity often lead people back to the life they wanted to leave behind.
At the end of the session, Curry was asked to describe for people their next steps to a Beloved Community.
"The hope is in you," he said. "We must not let hope die."
He added, "Get up. Stand up. Speak up and love up, until the revolution happens."©2021 The State. Visit at thestate.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.