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Anti-Racism Storytelling Project

Anti-Racism Storytelling Project

Seeking stories from FLUMC clergy and laity on their experiences with racism in UMC spaces.

Storytelling is the cornerstone for many cultures and religions, including Christianity and our Wesleyan tradition. Jesus taught His lessons through the medium of storytelling and helped challenge and transform societal norms that were harming “the least of these.” Stories play a critical role in meaning making, determining individual and collective identity and dictating behavior. 

Not only do stories have the power to teach but they also have the power to heal. As we continue the necessary and long-overdue work of dismantling racism within the United Methodist Church and our conference specifically, we believe that we must address and honor the stories of past failings to move forward and build a better denomination and conference. 

We are asking all lay or clergy members in the FLUMC to share stories of times they encountered or experienced racism in UMC spaces. These may be stories of times when you experienced racism or racial prejudice in your local church or other UMC space, or a time when you began addressing internalized racism and dismantling racism within yourself. 

These stories will be compiled into videos and posts that will be shared throughout conference platforms and will accompany other work in dismantling racism and creating an anti-racist Church. We recognize the inherent hesitancy of sharing stories as emotional and personal as these. We encourage you to share as much or as little as you would like, leaving out identifying details if you would like. The option for fully anonymous stories is also provided through the option to submit a written story. 

Through storytelling, we can challenge dominant narratives that erase or mute stories of harm done and impede healing for the future. Through storytelling, we can transform the hopelessness caused by white supremacy and transform it into a passion for change. Through storytelling, we can teach and encourage our community to join our work of dismantling racism in our conference and building an anti-racist denomination. We can change the tone and outcome of our collective story through storytelling. 

We hope that you will consider submitting a story for our storytelling project. It is with great hope that we launch this project as a space to reckon with our collective failures at being an anti-racist conference and hope for building a better community together. Rather than ignoring our narratives from the past, may we gain mental reprieve by facing these stories so we can rewrite better ones for the future.
  • Who: Laity and clergy in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church 
  • What: Submitting a personal story of a time when you experienced racism or encountered racism in a UMC space. 
  • How: A recorded video or written story submitted through our Google Form link found here:
  • When: We will be accepting submissions until May 31, 2021