Most of the time, people who see things differently don’t take the time to talk to each other, much less work together. The increased understanding of community concerns and new community contacts developed through conversation results in increased action and collaboration.
This model is based in bringing two churches, one white and one of color, together. To enter into meaningful conversation that will lead to honest relationships. Relationships that will move participants to seeing the beauty of God’s full kingdom and to moving toward His beloved community. This an eight-session dialogue that begins with an “Affinity Group.” For churches just beginning to discuss race, these facilitated conversations will prepare the group for open, respectful, and honest conversations. Once ready, the model brings the two churches together for facilitated Conversation Tracks that will lead the members to better understanding and love for each other. The impact of the 8-session process is realized after the final session where the combined churches looks at actual steps and actions they will take to generate positive, sustainable change. PDF
Understanding begins with ears to listen and a common vocabulary. This is an excellent online tool for terms often used to describe race terms in the United States: https://www.racialequitytools.org/glossary
ENDING RACISM IS A PROCESS. It requires societal change AND individual change.
These are resources that local churches can explore and consider lead their congregations into the work of anti-racism. As anti-racism is discipleship, rooting the church in biblical principles and focused on Christ’s modelling, the church is able to move toward both societal and individual change.
- OPEN SPACES created by the Gulf Central Anti-Racism Team is a comprehensive resource to clergy and churches to be use in worship service and small groups
Bible Studies & Discussion Groups
How does an individual change? And, more importantly, how does an individual become an anti-racist? There are countless books, podcasts, articles, videos that are excellent resources. We offer this (incomplete) listing of resources organized using using Janet E. Helms “Stages of Racial Identity Development.” For a summary of this framework visit: https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/Compilation_of_Racial_Identity_Models_7_15_11.pdf
Stage One — Awareness & Intentionality The process of becoming antiracist is when you become aware that a racial injustice exists. However, antiracism awareness is much more than just being of present mind that white supremacy is a problem within a particular area of our society. It’s about also recognizing that you have a unique role to play in the efforts to stop the continuation of that system. It serves as a catalyst that propels you into action in the fight to dismantle white supremacy. Actions that have to be taken with intention and proper focus if they are to contribute to the end goal of antiracism.
Resources that maybe helpful in this Stage
A thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.
- Just Mercy Has been offered through a variety of digital movie services in the US, including Apple TV, FandangoNow, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Redbox, the PlayStation Store, Vudu, Microsoft, and YouTube
A powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a black man sentenced to death despite his innocence.
- Be the Bridge 101: Foundational Principles Every White Bridge-Builder Needs to Understand.
A resource to break down the basic tenets and history of whiteness: White Supremacy, White Fragility, White Identity, White Privilege.
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Contains two essays. The first essay, written in the form of a letter to Baldwin's 14-year-old nephew, discusses the central role of race in American history. The second essay deals with the relations between race and religion, focusing in particular on Baldwin's experiences with the Christian church as a youth, as well as the Islamic ideas of others in Harlem.
- The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race edited by Jesmyn Ward
An anthology of 18 writers contributing essays and poetry to three movements entitled "Legacy", "Reckoning" and "Jubilee". NYTimes reviews that it deals with everything from the Charleston church shooting to OutKast’s influence to Rachel Dolezal’s chicanery, all through a black lens that is still too rare in literature and elsewhere. The pain of black life (and death) often inspires flowery verse, but every poem and essay in Ward’s volume remains grounded in a harsh reality that our nation, at large, refuses fully to confront. In the spirit of Baldwin’s centering of black experiences, they force everyone to see things our way."
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
From a powerful new voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America.
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
A stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Exploration of the complex reality of today's racial landscape--from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement--offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide
- *** Highly Recommended*** I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
I'm Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God's ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness--if we let it--can save us all
An Investigative podcast series. In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened, expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncover a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past
- The 1619 Project by the New York Times
The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.
A new history podcast that ransacks the official version of the Civil War, and takes on the history you grew up with. It brings you untold stories about covert operations, corruption, resistance, mutiny, counterfeiting, antebellum drones, and so much more. And connects these forgotten struggles to the political battlefield we’re living on right now.
- Pass the Mic by The Witness Podcast Radio
A premier podcast of The Witness – A Black Christian Collective. Tune in every week for engaging discussions and high-profile interviews addressing the core concerns of African Americans biblically.
- ·***Highly Recommended***Brené with Austin Channing Brown on I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
Austin Channing Brown’s anti-racism work is critical to changing our world, and her ability to talk about what is good and true about love, about our faith, and about loving each other is transformative. She is a writer, a speaker, and a media producer providing inspired leadership on racial justice in America. In this episode, we connect on her book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, and talk about her online television show, The Next Question.
Stage Two — Self-Interrogation | The Analysis. In this stage, you start to ask yourself the hard questions that start the process of you identifying, unpacking, and dismantling the ways in which your past and present behaviors are perpetuating white supremacy in the same ways that relate to what you’ve seen manifested during the education stage of becoming antiracist. You do the work laid out in this stage because there is no way for you to stop engaging in these behaviors without identifying them within your personal patterns of behavior in the first place. And there is no way for you to actually enter into the community action stage without potentially causing great harm to Black, Indigenous, and People Color with your continued perpetuation of white supremacy due to your unchanged behaviors.
Resources that maybe helpful in this Stage
- White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
Explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.
- How to be An Antiracist by Ibram Kendi
A concept of antiracism that reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America while pointing us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
- Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude Steel
Offering insight into how we form our senses of identity through stereo-typing while laying out a plan for mitigating the negative effects of “stereotype threat” and reshaping American identities.
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Tatum
Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides.
- Why I No Longer Talk to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Loge
Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of color in Britain today
- Whiteness Intensive Course.
16-pre-recorded sessions with discussion topics for small group working through history, white supremacy, white fragility, white culture, privilege, parenting, tips for bridge-builders. 16 tips for White Bridge Builders
- Seeing White by Scene on Radio
Confronts the deep-rooted causes of white supremacy rather than looking solely at the symptoms. Specifically, its focus on whiteness — how it began and how it has shaped the majority of American institutions. Study guide available
Stage Three – Community Action | The Conclusion. The Community Action stage of becoming antiracist is where you take what you’ve learned about yourself and put it out into the world in an attempt to lead others into this work by example and where you begin taking part in restorative efforts that perpetuate a system of racial equality. The stage is the most anticipated stage of the process. People of action like to act. It’s understandable. Unfortunately, this stage is also the one where you can cause the most amount of harm if you’ve attempted to bypassing thoroughly engaging with the previous three steps before entering it.
Resources that maybe helpful in this Stage
- DART (Direct Action and Research Training Center) is a national network of 23 affiliated grassroots, nonprofit, congregation-based community bringing people together across racial, religious and socioeconomic lines to pursue justice in their communities.. Local organizations are
Racial Equity Tools at www.racialequitytools.org. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.
Gulf Central District calls all disciples interested to come together. If you are interested in exploring being a part of their exciting and impactful work, please contact Beth.Potter@flumc.org.
The Why We Do What We Do: Inspired by God’s love and Christ’s example, the Gulf Central District Anti-Racism Team equips and empowers individuals and local churches to challenge racial injustice in any form in order to build sustainable, just, and equitable beloved communities.
The How We Do What We Do: We strive to achieve this by recognizing churches that cultivate racial justice and equity and challenging churches that do not. As we address the sin of racism, we lead with compassion, understanding, and love. Specifically we focus in the areas of Public Witness and Training & Accountability. We meet via zoom the first and third Monday of the month at noon for one hour. For information contact Beth.Potter@flumc.org.
In Public Witness & Policy we achieve this by creating and curating resources for the transformation of hearts and minds toward the work of ending racism and by advocating for antiracist policies and ideas both within and outside The United Methodist Church.
Our work is contextual and organic. We respond to the community needs of the moment and proactively work to bring an end to systemic racism. Examples of current work includes efforts to end voter suppression (Florida Legislative Session 2020), sharing with congregations non-biased information of proposed Florida legislation adversely impact people of color, creating two adopted Florida UMC Annual Conference resolutions and work to ensure they are implemented: “Ethnic, Gender, and Racial Equity in Clergy Compensation, responsibilities, and Appointments” and “A Prophetic Call for White Responsibility and Accountability in Dismantling Racism”
In Training & Accountability we will achieve this by equipping and empowering individuals and churches with the resources they need to end racism and by developing bottom-up and top-down methods of accountability and support.