This Week on American Black Journal:

How Technology has transformed Detroit’s Black Churches: Adapting Post-Pandemic

Detroit’s Black churches are witnessing a digital revolution. Recent years have brought forth new technologies, like artificial intelligence, and new conversations about how the latest technology trends will shape the present and future of the city’s religious institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst, propelling many of these churches into the digital age to ensure the safety of their congregants. Now, even as the pandemic’s grip loosens, these new technologies have remained an integral part of their ministry to connect communities and solve critical issues.  

The impact of technology on ministry takes center stage during this installment of American Black Journal’s “Black Church in Detroit” series. Host Stephen Henderson talks with two Detroit pastors, Rev. Carnel Richardson of New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Aramis Hinds from Breakers Covenant Church International about their churches’ journey adapting to the technologies brought forth by the pandemic.  

The pastors also delve into the thought-provoking realm of artificial intelligence. They emphasize the need for careful scrutiny of emerging AI technologies, reminding their congregations and communities to remain vigilant in understanding how tools intended for good can be potentially misused for manipulation and harm. In a world increasingly reliant on AI, the pastors underscore the importance of never placing any innovation above their steadfast faith and devotion to God.

In a world where mental health struggles have skyrocketed, especially among young children and teens, one young woman from Detroit is stepping up to support those students through her nonprofit Caleb’s Kids. The organization serves metro Detroit area youth in the 4th through 12th grades by providing tools, educational resources and materials, workshops and other support in the efforts to strengthen mental health and prevent suicide.

Founder and CEO Kiesha Jackson formed the company after losing her younger brother Caleb to suicide, and she now seeks to provide hope and help for young people experiencing mental health challenges in the city of Detroit. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24 nationwide, and Jackson roots her work specifically in metro Detroit where she was born and raised and where she wants to make the most impact.

In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month in September, “American Black Journal” contributor Angela Brown talks with Jackson about how the tragedy of losing her brother created the spark for Caleb’s Kids and explains what students are taking away from workshops on coping skills and emotional intelligence. Jackson also shares how her previous work in corporate human resources has informed her work and discusses the various mental health challenges Detroit’s youth are facing today. Plus, two former participants talk about the impact Caleb’s Kids had on their lives.

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.