2018 slid into 2019 quickly with my New Year’s resolution to post here more often quickly was an instant failure. Yes, it’s been awhile (almost seven months!) since I’ve posted here. But those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter (plus Pinterest and Instagram (where “I’m still a newbie”) know that I’m still around, active in a variety of ways. So over the next few days I’ll try to make up for that with a snapshot of projects and recaps that I’ve been busy with since last fall – lots of links to resources and articles to come!
Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation
I am now in my third year of a term on the Episcopal Church in Connecticut’s (ECCT) Mission Council (aka diocesan Executive Council). As part of our work stemming from a 2017 diocesan resolution and following Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s initiative of Racial Reconciliation as part of The Jesus Movement, I have been on a team that has helped kick off a two-year Season of Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation in ECCT. For our quarterly gatherings we have held conversations, read books and articles, and shared personal stories.
To get us started, we all read Debra Irving’s Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race. We also watched one of her TED-X talks, which I would recommend as a starting point for white folks who are just starting this work.
Other books that I have read (before this initiative) which I would also recommend that are good for beginning the conversation:
- The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
- Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
- Inclusion: Making Room for Grace by Eric H. F. Law
- Living into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America edited by Catherine Meeks
- Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey
There are plenty of others for beginners as well as for those ready to dig deeper and work for change. One in particular is Kelly Brown Douglas’ Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God. As a child I was told I was an Anglo-Saxon-Protestant and should be proud of my heritage. I’m also a novice genealogist, and that’s true. But now I’m not necessarily proud of that. Read Douglas’ book and you’ll understand why.
The ECCT resource page will continually be updated, you can find annotated bibliographies and other resources I helped curate here.
As an aside, I attended a dismantling racism training with Catherine Meeks in Indianapolis, followed by a training to lead the Dismantling Racism Youth Curriculum both at the 2019 Forma Conference. Note: the language to use is “dismantling” and not “anti-racism” – we need to be for something in our action. We all need to continually educate ourselves and work for systemic change. The road is not easy, but it is up to us white folks to do the work, not our brothers and sisters of color. Today more than ever.
4 thoughts on “Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation”
Thanks for the clarification on “dismantling” vs. anti-racism.
Also, a must read for anyone serious about understanding how we built our racialized thought structure, please read Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. (National Book Award for Nonfiction) Understanding how the U.S. developed its thinking about race, helps us see the purpose of this thinking, so we can attend to its most vulnerable elements and dismantle it. https://www.amazon.com/Stamped-Beginning-Definitive-History-National/dp/1568584636
Kendi has a new book coming out soon, ironically, How To Be an Anti-Racist. https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Antiracist-Ibram-Kendi/dp/0525509283
Thanks for the additional resource!