A.C. Green and ORM Conduct Reconciliation Event

By Thomas C. Hanson
PASADENA—A.C. Green, former all-star forward for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, and the Office of Reconciliation Ministries were hosts for a conference on racial reconciliation at Ambassador Auditorium Jan. 18.

The event was titled “Removing Walls/Building Bridges.” Among the 300 to 400 in attendance were church, community and political leaders.

Slide show on Martin Luther King

The event began with a 20-minute slide show on civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., highlighting his work as a Christian minister. Bermie Dizon, pastor of the Pasadena NewLife and Los Angeles churches, coordinated the slide show.

“Many people use Dr. King to support various causes, but forget that he was first and foremost an ordained Christian minister,” Mr. Dizon said.

Police Chief

Bernard K. Melekian, Pasa­dena police chief, spoke on “Learning to Live and Work Together in Our Cities.” He said we have made progress since the days of Dr. King, but that we still have much to do.

Steps to reconciliation

Curtis May talks about Martin Luther King. [Photos by Thomas C. Hanson and Ron Grove]

Mr. May introduced a film, Masters of Invention, which highlighted inventions by African-Americans, and then explained four steps to reconciliation: confession, change, reconciliation and restitution.

  • Confession: acknowledgment of the hurtful actions of my people or myself toward other people or categories of people.
  • Repentance: turning from unloving to loving actions.
  • Reconciliation: expressing and receiving forgiveness, and pursuing intimate fellowship with previous enemies.
  • Restitution: attempting to restore what has been damaged or destroyed, not reparations.

Green, who openly professed his Christianity during his days in the NBA, introduced a film called the Final Solution that he co-produced. The film was on the life of Gerrit Wolfhaardt, a white South African paramilitary member who re­nounced his racist ways. Mr. Wolfhaardt is now a Christian minister in the United States and works in racial reconciliation causes. His son, Thabo, 26, lives in Los Angeles and attended the conference.

Question and answers

The event closed with a question and answer session conducted by A.C. Green and Mr. May. Area WCG members served as ushers. The Los Angeles Times and the Pasadena Star-News covered the event.

A.C. Green
Curtis May talks about Martin Luther King. [Photos by Thomas C. Hanson and Ron Grove]
Thabo Wolfhaardt
Actor David Lee