"But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
- Amos 5:4
We believe that our faith as Christians must necessarily embody antiracist actions. After the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, we began the Church-Wide Engagement group on Wednesday nights at 6 PM. We started with a 3 month discussion on Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist. We are currently identifying specific ways to be antiracists in our Worcester community. We are inviting leaders from our community to teach us about the inequities in our systems (educational, judicial, law enforcement, healthcare, housing, etc.) as we seek to advocate for antiracist policies. The Wednesday meetings are open to all, and you do not need to have attended prior meetings to join.
One of our closest ministry partners, the Alliance of Baptists, has been awarded a grant through the Lilly Endowment to pilot a cohort-modeled project called “Churches that THRIVE for Racial Justice.” The project is centered on helping congregations to begin engaging in the work of becoming antiracist congregations. We were selected as one of 25 congregations who will comprise the 5-year cohort project. We’ll share more in the coming weeks and months as we approach the beginning of Year 1. This is an exciting and vital opportunity for us to learn and grow alongside other sibling congregations intent on engaging in the challenges of becoming antiracist congregations in the Spirit and likeness of Christ.
Dealing with daily racism and discrimination takes an immense toll on a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Unfortunately, resources for minorities are frequently inaccessible (due to cost, other commitments, distance, etc.) or are inadequate (e.g. when counselors are not trained to deal with racial trauma). Reportedly only 1/3 of Black people receive the mental help they need. Sunshine Behavioral Health is seeking to change this and has created a helpful guide to both illuminate the problem and connect Black people with the resources they need. Their guide can be found here: Mental Health Issues Facing the Black Community.
- How to be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
- God of the Oppressed by James Cone
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- White Too Long by Robert P. Jones
- White Fragility by Robin D’Angelo
- Racial Justice Bookshelf
- 13th (Available on Netflix or YouTube)
- Just Mercy
- I Am Not Your Negro (Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime)
Articles and Talks
- Racism: The History of the Problem by Rev. Dr. Willie James Jennings
- The 1619 Podcast by the New York Times
- White Supremacy in the Church by Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney
- Whiteness Ruthlessly Lies (Sojourners)
- White Supremacist Ideas Have Roots in US Christianity (NPR)
- 103 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice