Dr. Brandy Liebscher
I’m often asked why I care so much about racial justice.
As a follower of Christ I am deeply troubled by the current realities, ever-increasing dangers, and dark legacy of racism in our nation, communities, and congregations. The senseless loss of life of African-American men and women, hate-filled rhetoric against people of color, hate crimes on the rise, and children separated from their families at the border are just a few of the reasons that compel me to do my part and speak out.
White “privilege” means I can ignore the realities of systemic racism if I want to. But is that really a “privilege” to be embraced? To turn away from the suffering of others and deny the harm done by systems built and maintained by one’s own people? This is incompatible with my faith and belief in Jesus. I refuse to turn away from those who have been oppressed and marginalized–and my part in all of it.
As a white Christian and psychologist, I feel a deep sense of responsibility and calling to come alongside white people, especially white Christians, committed to racial justice and reconciliation so that together we can help bring about systemic change. It is a long, difficult road that doesn’t come without risk. It means we will have to be uncomfortable and challenge ourselves. But I also know we don’t have to do it alone. When we band together in faith and solidarity we can both experience, and bring about, transformation in our world.
Dr. Brandy Liebscher was psychology professor and administrator in Christian higher education for over 10 years. She taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of clinical and multicultural psychology, as well as the integration of Christianity and psychology. She also led related workshops and trainings in both educational and religious settings and conducted research on the experiences of faculty who taught about diversity and social justice.
More recently, she has been involved in multi-cultural, faith-based community organizing focused on immigration reform and ending mass incarceration. In 2014, she began developing Facing Ourselves, a blog series and 12-part podcast series, as a way to help white people become more actively anti-racist in their personal, spiritual, and professional lives.
Brandy attends Vida Church in Sacramento, Calif., a Latino-led, bi-lingual church. She is grateful be a part of the congregations’s commitment to racial healing and justice and to be able to preach (read more about her first Sunday at Vida Church, just after the 2016 election).
She obtained a doctorate of psychology (Psy.D.) from George Fox University and is licensed as a psychologist in the state of California where she has a private practice.