Alicea Davis is a powerhouse of a woman, and you can not leave a conversation with her without feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Her nonprofit Friends of Reconciliation, which was founded in 2019, is “committed to perpetually aid the Detroit Metropolitan community and America in personal inner healing and racial reconciliation through social skills training, community events and the creative arts all year round.”
This nonprofit is created to disciple on a national scale through the March Forth movement, for those who want extra information, inspiration and who are seeking God’s will for racial healing.
Through this nonprofit, Alicea and her team have founded a holiday we are all called to celebrate: March Forth; a racial reconciliation holiday that calls upon us to come together to honor God and the variety of cultures we have here on Earth and in America.
March Forth is a nationally recognized holiday by the National Day Archive. Unlike most holidays, this isn’t a one day event, March Forth is a call towards unity and a way of personal growth through reflection and healing your soul.
After hearing a friend share that her birthday was on March Fourth, Alicea felt a resonance in her body that God has called us to March Forth in Victory and relationship. She shares "When we minimize the struggle, we minimize the victory, when we minimize the victory we minimize our testimony and when we minimize our testimony we minimize the glory of God."
Often in our rhetoric, we can become focused on what our role is to to play in being a part of the problem, but Davis asks us a powerful question. "What will your role be in being a part of the solution?"
When put in this perspective, we are no longer letting guilt keep us frozen, but moving forward in the vision God has cast in Revelation 7:9 of all tribes coming together in their diversity to worship God.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”
The first step towards this is looking within and walking in a relationship with God.
As the first year of this nationally recognized holiday, signed into law in Pontiac, Michigan by the Mayor, Dr. Deirdre Waterman, and City Council, Alicea calls upon us to gather together with friends from different cultures than us. Ask yourself, who are the people in your community that don’t look the same as you? Who can you come together and commune with? Gathering around dinner tables, eating food with other cultures, and people and listening to music that celebrates God from another country is a way for us to realize who we are already in community with, and who we can reach out to.
Altogether, there are four ways for us to honor March Forth, as shared from her site:
Celebrate ethnic diversity by having a celebratory meal with a diverse group of friends that includes various ethnic cuisines, and a variety of Christian music genres worldwide.
Prayerfully write a letter to your community, church or national leaders about the social equities that you would like for others to enjoy, while also mentioning the unifying virtues that you stand for.
Read aloud scriptures of unity and healing such as:
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
John 17: 20-23
Stand in verbal agreement by reciting "A Prayer for Racial Healing and Reconciliation" which can be found on her website, https://www.wearefor.love/marchforth.
She also has 10 ways to March Forth in Unity without Physically Marching at www.AliceaDavis.com
These ideas create access points for those participating to take a look at where we can grow, and create a bridge, reminding us that we have more in common than we do that separates us. In a time when we are not simply divided but a country in pieces, Alicea reminded me that our “Legacy is greater than what we’ve become”.
Racial reconciliation can feel like getting a cancer diagnosis for stage four, but hope in God is like finding out the next day they have found a cure. When we recognize the image of God in the people around us, we honor God’s dream of heaven here on Earth. When we say there is no place for social justice or no need for racial justice, we are saying that what is happening in our current culture is God’s will for us; and with one look at what those repercussions mean, we are compelled to come together in a way we have never before.
If you would like to participate in March Forth use the hashtag #MarchForthInUnity and post your photos of your gatherings all year long. This is not just a day, but a way of life, a call to examine our hearts and grow personally. After Dr. Martin Luther King Day, and Black History Month which can bring forth pride, celebration, and deep grief, she calls upon us to move through the world, trusting the God has made us to be united and to create a world where we all can thrive.
As she shared her heart, she humbly suggested a way to move through Black History month to help America honor the deep history that is rich and complex by using each week to move through history and be honest about where we are as a nation and people.
We talked about how easy it is to become overwhelmed, but this is one idea she had to help us explore the month with grace and depth.
Week 1: Slavery, and recognizing our sorrow and despair. She shares that it is possible to revisit history without reliving it, and by remembering those who came before; and remembering the harsh history where Black Americans have come from.
Week 2: Remembering Successes- From science breakthroughs, teachers, and those who have shaped culture and history.
Week 3: Remember our legacy of faith in God, and take responsibility for our misunderstandings of each other. When we recognize that God is at the helm we are called to care for each other and take a look at our role in how we have hurt or diminished those around us.
Week 4: Remember the hope our ancestors had in our freedom. By acknowledging we are further along than our grandparents, and great grandparents we can be grateful for where we are, while still aware of our current responsibility to continue to rise even higher to help future generations thrive, in spite of our history.
Alicea is a seeker of God’s will for racial reconciliation, and invites us to the table to do the same on March 4th, when we March Forth in Unity. She left our conversation with this reminder for all of us, ‘the greatest change that the March Forth movement inspires is personal growth. The more we inspire others to work on their spiritual growth in Christ, we can change our nation one life, and one household at a time."
Find more and join the movement at https://www.wearefor.love/marchforth
AJ sparks imagination and joy through art, entertainment, and events with her business In Joy Productions. As a military spouse, she creates sacred spaces for women to flourish through Red Tents, retreats, and soul art workshops. Facilitating conversations in engaging ways, she helps women move, totally embodied, through to world- allowing them to show up for themselves and others. Her heart is to change the traditions and stories we pass down to the next generation by creating brave spaces to share about womanhood, in all its phases. She lives in San Antonio, TX, with her husband Jeremy, two pups, a peace lily, and a bucket full of glitter for emergencies. She writes for SheLoves Magazine, GEMS Girls Club, and MilSpo Co. Connect with AJ at www.ajsmit.com or @mermaidHarmony on Facebook and Instagram!
JOIN THE MOVEMENT!
We invite you to join us in creating a paradigm shift within the military spouse culture. We want to be at the forefront of creating a movement within our community that trades comparison for compassion. We want to replace the negativity that surrounds the MilSpouse culture with a positive image of personal fulfillment and success. We can be a group that raises each other up, building strong leaders and supporting new ideals. Join us by “liking” our Facebook page, subscribing to the blog, and linking us to your local “spouse’s” Facebook page!