Many Americans are feeling racial tension, anger, pain and fear. The news has plenty of examples of racial injustice. Across the country and throughout this nation’s history, millions more who are not in the daily headlines know the pain and the fear of having routines of daily life, along with their hopes and dreams, curtailed by racism and injustice.
This is nothing new. If we’re honest, most of us will admit we’ve lived within a society rooted in systemic racism our whole lives.
There is a growing awareness among Presbyterians that racism is a crisis that must be addressed. The PC(USA) and the Presbytery of Donegal and we at Westminster are strongly committed to the struggle for racial equity and justice. We believe the church should lead in the effort to dismantle structural racism.
Many ministry colleagues and friends who are persons of color have said they are worn out trying to convince white congregations there is a problem. They are in pain and feel the church as a whole could be a force for good and change if it really wanted to. They point to societal transformation the church has accomplished in the past and is still affecting today. They wonder why the same energy cannot be put into the fight against racism.
Join Westminster as we journey together with other Donegal Presbytery congregations to learn more about issues of race and racism in this country and how we can be a force for antiracism in our community and world. This updated 21-Day Race Equity Challenge can also be found on the Donegal Presbytery website.
Here is how the challenge works:
- Over 21 days, pick one, from the resources listed below. There are multiple resources from which to choose.
- Diversify your understanding by doing something from different categories: Watch, Read, Listen or Notice.
- Share your reflections on our Facebook Group or through this form.
- Pray for the places where you are challenged, and for those you are learning about whose lives may be different than yours.
Lord, we thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but to go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you. Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace. Help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God’s children will rejoice in one common band of humanity iin the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.
-The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Racism and the Church: Where Do We Go from Here?”, This video was shown at the November 2022 Donegal Presbytery meeting. 11 minutes
The Color of Compromise Discussion at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 7 part discussion on Jemar Tisby's book & DVD study, The Color of Compromise. (each discussion is 1 hour and 30 minutes)
How to Fight Racism Discussion at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 8 part discussion on Jemar Tisby's book & DVD study, How to Fight Racism. (each discussion is between 1 hour and 1 hour and 45 minutes)
Matthew 25: Knox Presbyterian Church - Dismantling Structural Racism, By confessing the story of a racist gift from a person buried in church columbarium, the congregation at Knox Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati takes a first step in dismantling structural racism. (9 minutes)
Confronting ‘intergroup anxiety’: Can you try too hard to be fair?, Explores why we may get tongue tied and blunder when we encounter people from groups unfamiliar to us. (5 minutes)
This is Us, Dr. Eddie Glaude explains why blaming current racial tensions on Donald Trump misses the point. (3 minutes)
Confronting ‘intergroup anxiety’: Can you try too hard to be fair? Explores why we may get tongue tied and blunder when we encounter people from groups unfamiliar to us. (5 minutes)
CBS News Analysis: 50 states, 50 different ways of teaching America’s past, Ibram X. Kendi reviews current history curriculum production and use across the U.S. (5 minutes)
The Disturbing History of the Suburbs, An “Adam Ruins Everything” episode that quickly and humorously educates how redlining came to be. (6 minutes)
What Kind of Asian Are You? Humorous two minute YouTube video that illustrates the utter silliness of the way many white Americans interact with Asian Americans. (2 minutes)
Birth of a White Nation, Keynote speech by legal scholar Jacqueline Battalora, offers a blow-by-blow description of the moment the idea of, and word for, “white” people entered U.S. legal code. (36 minutes)
13th, Netflix documentary by Ava DuVernay about the connection between US Slavery and the present day mass incarceration system. (1 hour, 40 minutes)
How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them, TED Talk by Vernā Myers, encourages work vigorously to counter balance bias by connecting with and learning about and from the groups we fear. (19 minutes)
The danger of a single story, TED Talk by Chimamanda Adiche, offers insight to the phenomenon of using small bits of information to imagine who a person is. (18 minutes)
How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time, TED Talk by Baratunde Thurston that explores patterns revealing our racist framing, language, and behaviors. (10 minutes)
Indigenous People React to Indigenous Representation in Film And TV, Conversation with a diverse range of Indigenous people by FBE about media depictions of Indigenous people, Columbus day, and Indigenous identity. (15 minutes)
What Being Hispanic and Latinx Means in the United States, Fernanda Ponce shares what she’s learning about the misunderstanding and related mistreatment of the incredibly diverse ethnic category people in U.S. call Hispanic. (12 minutes)
Tyler Merrit Project: Before You Call (3 minutes)
Being Anti-Racist: A Primer from the Synod of Mid America PCUSA. (10 minutes)
The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 Emory Associate Professor of African American Studies, Carol Anderson, discusses the little known or taught Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. (5 mins)
Blackklanman Spike Lee's 2018 Oscar winner motion picture about Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department who bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.
Unspoken: America’s Native American Boarding Schools, PBS documentary (57 minutes)
Race vs Religion w/Carl Lentz, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man Ep. 7 (19:35 minutes)
Dr. Gregory Thompson - To Stick With Love: King's Vision for Today's Movement Calvin University’s January Series 2023 (1 hour & 7 minutes)
Dr. Esau McCaulley -What Is African American Biblical Interpretation And Why Does The Church Need It Calvin University’s January Series 2023 (1 hour & 9 minutes)
Amend the Fight for America limited five episode documentary series on Netflix (59 minutes/episode)
White Savior: Racism In The American Church documentary on Amazon Prime (61 minutes)
Read the PC(USA) Belhar Confession and reflect on how your church is using and living into it. Notice the structures and practices in your church. Raise questions about how they help or hinder racial equity.
21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear on a Daily Basis, by Heben Nigatu
Climbing the White Escalator, by Betsy Leondar-Wright
Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person, by Gina Crosley-Corcoran
Guide to Allyship, Created by Amélie Lamont
It’s Not Just the South: Here’s How Everyone Can Resist White Supremacy, by Sarah van Gelder
Making America White Again, by Toni Morrison
What White Children Need to Know About Race, by Ali MIchael and Elenora Bartoli
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh
My President Was Black, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Caught Up In God, by Willie James Jennings
Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?, by Ibram X Kendi
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Trouble the Narrative There is a common narrative that the civil rights movement succeeded through only non-violent protest. But we need to trouble that narrative. By Austin Channing Brown.
Statement by Union Presbyterian Seminary President Brian K. Blount on the death of George Floyd.
The American Nightmare To be black and conscious of anti-black racism is to stare into the mirror of your own extinction. By Ibram X. Kendi
Here's Why It Hurts When People Say, "All Lives Matter" A national youth advocate and educator explains why mattering means so much to black Americans. By L-Mani S. Viney.
Waking up White by Debbie Irving
How the World is Passed by Clint Smith
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Code Switch, hosted by journalists Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji
Black Like Me, host Dr. Alex Gee
Scene on Radio – Seeing White Series, host John Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika
TED Radio Hour – Mary Bassett: How Does Racism Affect Your Health? host Guy Raz speaks with Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University
Here & Now – Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power? host Jeremy Hobson and author Edward Baptist
NPR Morning Edition – You Cannot Divorce Race From Immigration journalist Rachel Martin talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas
Test Your Awareness: Do The Test, This video shows us the importance of paying attention, and how much more we see when we are looking for particular things around us.
Use each question below separately as one day’s challenge.
- Who is and is not represented in ads?
- What are the last five books you read? What is the racial mix of the authors?
- What is the racial mix of the main characters in your favorite TV shows? Movies?
- Who is filling what kinds of jobs/social roles in your world? Can you correlate any of this to racial identity?
Thank you for walking this journey with and open mind and heart. May our journey be held in prayer...