Bright Hope In The News


CNN:The Battlegrounds: African-American turnout
By John King, CNN Chief National Correspondent updated 12:29 PM EDT, Mon July 30, 2012

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Paulette Beale shakes her head at the suggestion, then flashes a contagious smile.

"It's still history," she says, to rebut the notion there could be less intensity for President Barack Obama in the African-American community the second time around... Black clergy is always critical to voter turnout in communities like this, and Dr. Kevin R. Johnson says Obama can count on his help despite a disagreement over the president's support for same-sex marriage.

"We understand that he is not the pastor of the United States of America -- he is the president of the United States," said Johnson, the senior pastor at Philadelphia's Bright Hope Baptist Church.

After services this past Sunday, Bright Hope congregants had a chance to get materials on the new voter ID law.

Johnson says that law could be one factor in driving African-American turnout down a bit from 2008. But if there is a significant drop, his bet is that the tough economy will be the driving force.

"The president could do more in that area," Johnson said. "When you look at the unemployment rate in the African-American community, there's more that can be done."

Still, Johnson says things are a bit improved in recent months, and as he tells congregants they must vote, he also says he is banking on a little help in this tougher election climate.

"The reason I know that everything is going to be all right in November is because I trust in the Lord," Johnson said. "I love the president. But I trust in the Lord." (click here for full story and video)



Angry church meeting decries Philadelphia's school reorganization plan
April 30, 2012 | Darran Simon, Inquirer Staff Writer

About 200 people attended a quickly convened town-hall-style meeting at a church Sunday night to decry a Philadelphia School District plan that would close dozens of schools and shift thousands of students into charter schools.Under the plan, introduced last week, 40 of the district's 249 schools would close by next year, and 24 more would close by 2017. The central office would be dismantled in favor of "achievement networks" that would compete to run groups of 25 schools and would sign performance-based contracts.
... (click here to read more)


Black Clergy Pressures SRC on Superintendent Search

Written by  Damon C. Williams Tuesday, 13 March 2012 18:09
As the School Reform Commission searches for a new superintendent, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity ramped up its pressure to include more clergy in the selection process during a press conference on Tuesday in front of School District of Philadelphia headquarters on North Broad Street.
Black Clergy president Terrance Griffith and vice president Reverend Kevin R. Johnson joined local NAACP president Jerry Mondesire and a slew of local clergy in demanding the school district do all it can to put children here to read more



A Pastor’s Christmas Wish for the Black Community

Written by  Kevin Johnson Saturday, 10 December 2011 Philadelphia Tribune 
I enjoy the Christmas season. I love seeing trees and lights and holiday decorations go up all over the city. For me, it’s a special opportunity to spend time with my family, relax, eat great food and give thanks for God’s greatest gift, His son and our savior, Jesus Christ.
While I thoroughly enjoy this season, I realize that for various reasons not all experience Christmas in this way. One thing that can make this particular holiday burdensome is the commercialization of Christmas. Gift giving and time with loved ones can get lost in the cost to “do Christmas.” I am particularly troubled by how much we, as African Americans, literally “buy” into the notion and increase the profits of companies who very rarely support our community. In fact, we spend billions of hard earned dollars each year that go directly into the pockets of others and that never benefit our community... click here to read more


Plaza to Replace School

December 7, 2011 by Angelo Fichera and Kierra Bussey   
After a delay, work has begun on a housing complex near Main Campus.
The demolition of a former Philadelphia School Building on the southeast side of Main Campus is underway, paving way for a development project years in the making. But the start of the project has cost both time and money.
The John Wanamaker Middle School near 12th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue is being torn down as the Bright Hope Baptist Church, located across the avenue, and the Goldenberg Group follow through with plans for student-geared apartments, a community center and a charter school... click here to read more


Rev. Johnson: Was it a mob, or Cries from the Unheard?
The Philadelphia Tribune Published on Sunday, 14 August 2011

What’s really behind the “flash mobs” in Philadelphia?

Is it as our mayor, who was recently quoted in the press speaking from the pulpit of his home church, indicated, calling the youths a group of “ignorant, stupid, butthead, pants-sagging, byproducts of sperm donors and human ATMs” wreaking havoc on innocent people in Center City?

The national media seemed to enjoy the rhetoric and gleefully joined in calling them “young hoodlums.”

Do CNN, MSNBC, FOX or the larger community really distinguish between “good” Black children and “bad” Black children? Or do they paint us all with the same “Black” brush?”... (click here to read more)