Thank you for joining in this journey to explore the challenges present in our national crisis around the issue of racial justice. There are many voices speaking into this issue, and much of what we hear is painful, it can be shocking, it may be new to you in the sense that it’s emerged in a way that’s captured your attention, and some of this may be confusing especially if this has not been your experience or you’ve not explored this deeply previously. This is a journey, and journeys take time, so give yourself time to absorb what you learn. While this is personal, we’re also doing this as a community, so plan on growing as you hear and learn from one another. We’re primarily interested in hearing God’s voice in this journey—and God promises to be with us providing wisdom and guidance. Listen for God in this.
The days vary in length. Some days the challenge is fairly short and can be done in five minutes or so. Other days can take up to an hour, so plan for space to prayerfully engage with the material.
Every day as you engage, consider some reflection around these four questions:
What do you notice?
What do you wonder?
What do you feel?
How do you want to respond?
Consider using a journal to record your thoughts, or invite some conversation around these questions, perhaps discuss this with God on a walk. You could write a brief prayer in response to what you see, hear and discover in this challenge.
This is a challenge, and it will require effort to complete. But give yourself grace during this time. Take a break as needed, but keep at it. It is worth the effort.
21 Day Racial Justice Challenge
Watch this short video of Latasha Morrison, who runs the non-profit Be the Bridge, as she speaks to the spiritual issue of racism in our country: https://youtu.be/tg8TuQNCIPc
More of Latasha’s work can be found here: https://bethebridge.com
Study the Week One lesson from the Facing Racism Study Guide (this lesson will be discussed in our groups during this week).
Watch an updated version of the Clark doll experiment, which explores how early-in-life ideas of racial inferiority and superiority are internalized.
Whether or not you have kids, the following articles help us keep up with the language and landscape of the conversation both with children and each other. Choose one, read and reflect:
Click here to read “How to Talk about Race with Your Kids” from Christianity Today: https://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2017/august/how-to-talk-about-race-with-kids-racism.html
Additional Resources: “Talking to White Kids about Racism: https://safespaceradio.com/wp-content/uploads/RR-Tips.pdf or listen to the podcast “Talking to White Kids about Anti-Racism: https://soundcloud.com/dr-anne/sets/can-we-talk-talking-to-white-kids-about-race-and-racism
Listen to this brief NPR interview from 6/16/2020 with Ibram Kendi and Renee Watson as they discuss how parents can help their children understand how to be anti-racist: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/16/877778798/how-can-parents-make-their-kids-understand-how-to-be-anti-racist
Take some time to read and process this article from Christianity Today: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/june-web-only/justice-too-long-delayed.html
Environmental Justice Explained in this three and one-half minute video on how racism can be found in issues of environmental injustice. Consider how this happens in our area. https://youtu.be/dREtXUij6_c
Invest time exploring the history of housing discrimination practices in early Seattle and its surrounding communities. Reflect on how this has shaped the communities in which we presently live. What implications are there for us as a church? https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/segregated.htm
Read this article from February 2016 reflecting on Seattle’s history of racism. What takeaways do you find in here that apply to our current situation? https://www.seattlemag.com/article/reflection-racism-seattle
Engage with the article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh. https://nationalseedproject.org/Key-SEED-Texts/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack
Study the Week Two lesson from the Facing Racism Study Guide (this lesson will be discussed in our groups this week). https://facing-racism.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/facing_racism/facing-racism-study-guide.pdf
Watch the PBS documentary “Unspoken: America’s Native American Boarding Schools.” https://www.pbs.org/video/unspoken-americas-native-american-boarding-schools-oobt1r/
With kids—watch Grandpa’s Drum in the Molly of Denali episode found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzuWW_6sZm4
Consider adding the book “I Am Not a Number” to your family library. Definitely read it together. It will help facilitate conversations and awareness about the boarding schools: https://www.amazon.com/Am-Not-Number-Lisa-Heathfield/dp/1405293861/ref=sr_1_2
Take the awareness test. How does this resonate with your awareness of race in our community: https://youtu.be/Ahg6qcgoay4
Watch Phil Vischer’s (the creator of Veggie Tales) Holy Post: Race in America. https://youtu.be/AGUwcs9qJXY
Study the Week Three lesson from the Facing Racism Study Guide. https://facing-racism.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/facing_racism/facing-racism-study-guide.pdf
Watch the TED Talk “How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them” by Vena Myers. https://youtu.be/uYyvbgINZkQ
Study the Week Four lesson from the Facing Racism Study Guide and Visit the Presbyterian Intercultural Network’s website. https://www.pin-pcusa.com
Listen to Brene Brown’s podcast with Austin Channing Brown. https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-with-austin-channing-brown-on-im-still-here-black-dignity-in-a-world-made-for-whiteness/
Study the Week Six lesson from the Facing Racism Study Guide (this lesson will be discussed in our groups this week). https://facing-racism.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/facing_racism/facing-racism-study-guide.pdf
Study the Week Five lesson from the Facing Racism Study Guide. https://facing-racism.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/facing_racism/facing-racism-study-guide.pdf
Listen to the Black National Anthem: https://youtu.be/EDrGpZljbQQ
Notice the structures and practices in our church. Consider how people of different cultural backgrounds may experience worship with us.
Read “What the Bible Has to Say About Black Anger”
Watch this trailer for The Color of Compromise (and if you have time and access, watch the show!) https://youtu.be/BNmm9cvmxmY
Engage: Consider cooking a recipe from another culture, then shop in a small ethnic neighborhood grocery store (Goodies Mediterranean Market, Uwajimaya, Indian Sweets and Spices, Plaza Latina), and notice how you feel and act.
Act: Research local organizations to support which are addressing the core needs in our community in working towards racial justice.
Consider buying Latasha Morrison’s book, Be the Bridge: https://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/592177/be-the-bridge-by-latasha-morrison/ and think about who in your community you can build a bridge with. Where can you listen to the stories of people in your community who have a different lived experience? How might you continue this conversation with people who think differently than you?
Be informed about what is happening in your community in terms of public policy. When elections are held, vote. We’re not interested in promoting partisan politics, but the good reality of democracy is keeping each other in check.
Read one way our denomination, the PC(USA) has responded and who invites us to learn more: https://facing-racism.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/facing_racism/resources/facing-racism-policy.pdf