End Racism

Racism is a sin. As Christians, we know and proclaim that racism is a sin. But what's next? How do we help eradicate racism and foster opportunities to bring about systemic change? Where and how does that challenging yet necessary work begin? 

It begins with a commitment to respond– not to react. It requires a desire to listen more and talk less, and demands courage to explore challenging topics, not dismiss them quickly.



And that's what we as United Methodists in Louisiana want to do. 

Our work will be guided by Project Curate -  a non-profit and consultancy that works with religious, academic, and community organizations to support collaborative responses to intersectional issues of inequality and injustice.

Project Curate's creative, collaborative, and critical work is aimed at imagining, striving for, and living in a better world wherein justice, mercy, humility, and love are not just aspirations, but assumptions within our community ethics.

Together with experts from Project Curate, you will learn that "whiteness" is so much more than a reference to skin color. It's a set of behaviors, privileges, and ways of being. 

Together, we will examine what it means to be black in America. To do that, we will listen with

Who is Project Curate?

intentionality to African American brothers and sisters. You will explore what 'systemic racism' is, what it isn't, and what it means to be anti-racist and explore ways you and your church can bring about meaningful change. 

Our partners at Project Curate will challenge us, but at the same time, they will draw us deeper with theological reflections and practical examples. The work will be Christ-centered and focused on how we, as grace-driven people, can begin having grace-filled conversations that lead to transformation. 

We stand in the hope that racism can be rooted out; because we know, deep down as Christians, that we are made in the image of God and that it should not, cannot, and must not be this way. But it will require intentionality, vulnerability, courage, and, perhaps most importantly, your need to be honest with yourself, your colleagues, and God. 

Listen below to a Louisiana NOW podcast that previews the webinars. 
 




Let us invite the Holy Spirit to melt us, mold us, fill us, and use us. 





Dr. Matt Russell and Dr. Rachel Schneider introduce us to an important beginning point to the antiracist conversation: what whiteness means in our society, how whiteness has been constructed and why, and how whiteness continues to perpetuate racist policy that leads to continued racial disparities and prejudices.


Resources:

Questions to Ponder:
 

  • When do you remember realizing that there were people of other races? What did that mean to you?

  • When you hear the word “whiteness” what comes to mind?

  • In what areas of life do you see examples of whiteness as the default racial identity?

  • When you think of people in power, people of influence, and people of means, what percentage of those are white?

  • If you are a white person, is it difficult for you to talk to another about race? Why?
     

 




We have heard these terms, and for many of us, they automatically create a sense of defensiveness, uncomfortableness, and disagreement. In this webinar, we’ll have an introduction to the terms, what they mean, where they come from, and their importance as we seek to live into an antiracist future. Theological reflection and practical examples will help increase our competency as religious leaders so that we can help our communities engage in these difficult conversations.

 




This module will help us explore racial categorizing as a tool of power from the perspective of the black experience, the effects of white supremacy, and how often in our history the church has been complicit in continued patterns of antiblackness. It will give us essential conversation markers, but most importantly, it will help us face our own racism and racism in the systems all around us. The hope is that we begin to recognize the systems of oppression, our complicity in them, and ways of finding freedom.

Resources:
 

Questions to Ponder:

  • What were the early messages that you heard about what it meant to be black?

  • What were the characteristics of black people that you were raised with?

  • Write down stereotypes for black people that you use.

  • The phrase “anti-blackness” is a difficult phrase, in what ways do you see this (at least as a possibility) in the circles that you live in?
     

 


This unique curriculum has been designed specifically for the Louisiana Conference to merge faith with social action and innovation.

Developed by experienced justice advocates and community organizers, these webinars will provide opportunities for creative collective envisioning concerning specific issues, collaborative exchange of information and resources, and the space to deepen conversations in your local church.
 
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