Anti-Racism Task Force:
As part of First Church’s commitment to anti-racism, the anti-racism task force has recommended that the congregation plan and implement a series of conversations on race among church members and friends. These are difficult, but have proven to be impactful and transformative for other faith communities. The task force recommended three sorts of simultaneous conversations, two of which will focus on the racial identity of the participants and the third on interracial dialogue:
- A group that focuses on white privilege. This group will be a place where white people can explore the ways that being white in America involves deeply internalized patterns of superiority, and increase awareness of the ways that they benefit from these patterns of privilege.
- Another group for people of color to explore internalized racist oppression and how it has shaped their individual and collective lives.
- Finally, another interracial discussion group that would convene after the first two groups have had a number of sessions to discuss together our experiences and insights and to discern next steps.
Andrew Hamilton, Karen Byrne, and Nancy Withbroe have agreed to co-facilitate the first group using a curriculum, “White Privilege: Let’s Talk,” released last summer by the UCC. You can view it here: http://privilege.uccpages.org/.
This group will convene for six consecutive weekly sessions on Wednesdays from 6:30-8pm at the church, beginning on June 7. Please RSVP to Nancy Withbroe, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to participate. We anticipate that other opportunities to engage in these conversations will emerge in the months to come, so this is not the only chance. And, it is okay if participants can’t attend all six sessions.
Please speak with Andrew, Karen or Nancy if you have questions about this group, or with Lucille Dickinson and James Ross who have co-led the creation of the overall anti-racism strategy, or with Sid Fowler.