Resources for Discussing Racism

circle-312343_640I have written about the VUCA World since attending a conference many years ago (Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes) that featured Bob Johansen of the Institute for the Future. His research and predictions struck a chord with me and I continue to be reminded of his predictions as they are being lived out today – even though he spoke of these issues emerging in the future. The future is just as much a part of our past and present as they will be fifty or one hundred years from now.

Redding Voice offers a good overview at New Leadership Skills:

Bob also spoke about his earlier book Get There Early: Sensing the Future to Compete in the Present – look for what you have in common, not what you are polarized about. The Book of Provocation, written for the Episcopal Church, is a product of IFTF and CEEP. Bob said “Faith will live in the space between judging too soon and deciding too late.” The Book of Provocation highlights 15 sources of provocation for the Episcopal Church from the custom ten year forecast map. For each provocation the author suggests dilemmas that are likely to be raised for Episcopal churches if this forecast comes to pass, as well as discerning questions for church members to consider.

This VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) can also lead to opportunities (vision, understanding, clarity, and agility) in the present moment. Several polarities are being lived out in our country today that he names: the Rich/Poor Gap, Polarizing Extremes, and Urban Wilderness.

As we have watched young black men die and our cities have been filled with events of violence, hatred, and polarity the Church has again named the sin of racism that is alive and well in our society. At the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, three resolutions were put forth regarding resources for discussing racism and anti-racism training. And funding was provided for the creation of new resources in the triennial budget.

But what about now? What is available for our congregations to delve into this fall as a new program year arrives? Here are a few that are available to begin the conversation, according to each resolution:

A024 Direct Dioceses to Examine the Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, in accordance with our Baptismal Covenant and in the spirit of being inclusive, reaffirm and renew the directive to all dioceses, made by the 76th and 77th General Conventions, to examine the impact, including acts of racial discrimination, racial profiling, and other race-based acts of oppression, that the repudiated Doctrine of Discovery, as well as the related Doctrine of Manifest Destiny, has had on all people, especially on people of color and indigenous peoples.

  1. Exposing the Doctrine of Discovery: A Call to Healing and Hope – especially appropriate for Columbus Day
  2. The Four Directions and the Magnificat – especially appropriate for Advent
  3. Seeking God’s Justice for All – especially appropriate for Lent
  4. Local Laments over the Doctrine of Discovery – prayers, litanies, and other resources

A182 Using Education, Community Dialogue and Internal Audit to Respond to All Forms of Racial Injustice – this is an extensive resolution, with many resolves. Each diocese and congregation should read the resolution here. As this resolution is studied, the following resources are available from a variety of sources for adults:

D040 Create Youth Anti-Racism Curricula – read the resolution here and check out these resources that may be helpful to use with children (Pre/K – 13) and youth (13-18).

What other resources might you share here? Please list them in the comment section below.

The following resources have been brought to my attention since the original posting:

  • From the Diocese of Connecticut: Day of Awareness: Church School Resources offers activities and ideas for children.
  • From the Diocese of North Carolina: Freedom Ride 2015 is the first phase of Lift Every Voice, a three-year initiative designed to build an understanding of social injustice that will help participating young people develop a vision and skills to lead their dioceses’ programming around race and inclusivity. Episcopal and Anglican youth and young adults from North Carolina, Massachusetts, California, Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, Botswana and South Africa. Website includes curricula: Seeking Understanding, Crossing Bridges (Selma March), and more.
  • Trinity Institute 2016: Listen for Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice to be held January 21-23, 2016 at Trinity Wall Street and locations across the country via live feed.
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