Building Bridges to Justice – The Depolarising Power of Love – A Talk by Hawk Newsome

In this talk given at the Justice Conference 2019, Hawk Newsome, Chairman of Black Lives Matter New York, talks about the importance of building bridges in order to achieve justice.

Hawk became a high-profile face of social justice as a video of him addressing a white conservative rally went viral, being viewed over 50 million times, which you can watch here: Hawk spoke with love and a common language to those in the opposite corner, for as a Christian, he recognizes the need for dialogue and a common language in our efforts to create an environment for justice and love. For Hawk, who also marched 250 miles under the banner of “Agape” (Ancient Greek for Spiritual Love) to Washington, believes that ove is not something soft and weak, but must be courageous yet be flexible to accommodate change, and that those who want to work for this must come from all sides and races. In this presentation, Hawk speaks as a person with boots on the ground, who is standing up for victims of oppression, defending the rights of the poor and marginalized. Hawk shares his insights into what inspired him to reach across the lines to build commonality and hope during his speech in Washington D.C. Hawk is as real as it gets for bringing love and liberation to the streets of New York and his perspective is one of the keys to understanding how we can move forward as a society in all of our diversity.

Hawk Newsome is an activist at the forefront of the New Civil Rights Movement and former County Committee Member of New York’s District 79. He has dedicated his adult life to the betterment of his community & the United States as a whole. The Bronx native was raised in a devout Christian household. As a youth, Hawk succumbed to the temptations of his environment and dropped out of high school. With the love and support of his family, mentors and athletic ability, he was able to push forward and obtain a GED, Bachelor of Science, and law degree. After graduating from Concordia College, Hawk worked for the Honorable Robert T. Johnson at the Bronx County Office of the District Attorney, as a paralegal assisting Assistant District Attorney’s to prosecute crime. Hawk was then promoted to the position of Special Projects Coordinator. As the DA’s liaison to the community, he worked with N.Y.C.H.A tenants’ associations and social service organizations throughout the Bronx. In his spare time, he organized drives to send medical supplies to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Throughout his life Hawk has engaged in protests and activities to combat injustice. Over the past few years, he has worked tirelessly leading protests and seeking justice for the families of those slain by overzealous police officers. Prior to founding Black Lives Matter (BLM) Greater NY, he was a member of Justice League NYC. He works with victims of police brutality, the LGBT community, victims of human trafficking, and the mental health community. He also founded Black Lives Caucus, lectured students, and expanded BLM Greater NY to multiple New York City charter schools.

The Justice Conference is an annual Baha’i-inspired forum for the exploration of international law, global governance, justice and ethics. It takes place in the Netherlands and all are welcome to participate! Find out more about the Justice Conference and register to attend here on their website:, and check out the Justice Conference Facebook page here.

You can also listen to the audio version of this talk here: Building Bridges to Justice – The Depolarising Power of Love – A Talk by Hawk Newsome [Audio Track]

And check out more talks from the Justice Conference playlist here.

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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