As some of you may know, I am privileged to be a part of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference (UCC) Anti-Racism Task Force. While we are hoping and planning to develop resources and connect with local churches, associations, and other bodies with in the conference, we are starting our work by examining ourselves and taking stock of the history and present of racism in this country. Thanks to a tremendous grant, we are being guided on this journey by Nurturing Justice, a collaboration of justice seekers who are engaging in deeply transformative work to end racism and dismantle the ideologies that undergird racist systems in America. (More info at nurturingjustice.org.)
Every first and third week of the month, I gather with fellow members of the task force, and we are led in conversation and exploration by our tremendous facilitators. Our conversations are rooted in the powerful books and thought-provoking videos that have been assigned to be read or viewed before each meeting.
While I could certainly share a book list with you all to read on your own, I thought it wiser to begin sharing with you the engaging, challenging videos we have been viewing throughout the course of our exploration together. (Besides, we already have a Racial Justice Book Club up and running here at First United, and I encourage you to attend!) So, here is installment number one: Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses ‘White Fragility’ – YouTube (Even if you have read Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility,” I encourage you to view this.)
After you have viewed the video and taken sometime to process, I invite you to email me to share some of your takeaways. What thoughts, questions, curiosities arise for you? How are you being invited, challenged, inspired to act?
It is my hope that through engaging in this virtual exploration together we may be further encouraged and empowered to join with partners in our community to dismantle white skinned supremacy and racism in American society and build up a just, equitable, beloved community where all are treated with dignity and respect.
Let the dismantling/building begin (or more likely, continue)!
Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister