Episcopal Urban Caucus Assembly 2017
Doubletree Hotel, Princeton NJ
Meeting the Challenge of Church Transformation –
A One-Day Retreat with speakers the Rev. Dr Sandye Wilson and the Very Rev. Ron Byrd Sr.
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton
Grace-St. Paul’s, Mercerville
Links of Note:
On the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, Yolanda Pierce writes passionately about institutionalized racism and the subtle and profound legacies it can leave in articles of faith. “We know far too much about systems of whiteness and the lack of truthfulness that these systems represent.”
History educator Margaret Biser shares what she learned about racism–and about herself–as a tour guide at a plantation-turned-museum in the deep south. “An older colleague once reminded me to ‘talk to people, not at them.’ It’s a small piece of advice. But day by day as I was face to face with strangers, challenging their deeply held beliefs on race, it helped.”
The Marshall Project interviews Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Montgomery, AL based Equal Justice Initiative. This piece explores the legacy of slavery in America, and how it has and has not been usefully addressed. It explores how this has turned into modern day racism and looks at recent events in this context.
TruthOut interviews faith-based community organizer Ashley Horan about effective social justice and anti-racist organizing in predominantly white communities. This inspiring piece focuses on education and mobilization; this interview lifts up faith-based work as a lens to help all of us think about calling forward our values and beliefs in the service of justice and to move people through their congregations and spirituality.
Across the Diocese, and in New Jersey and the country at large, we were shocked and saddened by the death of Freddie Gray and the following violence and riots. Stories and shocking moments from Baltimore are everywhere in the media over the last several weeks; this collection from the Daily Mail presents quiet and inspiring moments of humanity at its best throughout the conflict.
Emmy-award winning filmmaker Geeta Gandbhir presents this short documentary about the difficult conversation between parents and children about race and authority in America. ” How should parents impart this information, while maintaining their child’s pride and sense of self? How does one teach a child to face dangerous racism and ask him to emerge unscathed?”
In a new book, Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, psychologists Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald turn the conventional way people think about prejudice on its head. Traditionally, Banaji says, psychologists in her field have looked for overt “acts of commission — what do I do? Do I go across town to burn down the church of somebody who’s not from my denomination? That, I can recognize as prejudice.” Yet, far from springing from animosity and hatred, Banaji and Greenwald argue, prejudice may often stem from unintentional biases.
The Anti-Racism Ministry in the Diocese of New Jersey comprises the Anti-Racism Commission, the Anti-Racism Team and various anti-racism committees and teams developing within parishes.
You may have heard about the Commission and the Team, but may have questions about what those groups are, what they do, and what is the difference between the Commission and the Team. In a nutshell, the Commission is a supervisory body that creates vision, determines goals, and oversees the activities of the Team. This includes stewardship of funds and support for Team activities, such as anti-racism training, parish workshops, convocation presentations, diocesan conferences, and youth events.
Undoing Racism Two-and-a-Half-Day Trainings
Our next two-and-a-half day training is September 29 – October 30, 2016 at St. Thomas, Red Bank. Click here for more information and to register.
The Anti-Racism Commission
- was created as the “Racism Committee” by 1996 diocesan convention resolution, subsequently commissioned and renamed, has functioned continuously since 1996, and has received diocesan funding since 2000
- is a Bishop-authorized body of 12 persons with special knowledge, experience, and skills pertaining to organizing against racism
- consists of 6 persons appointed by the Black Clergy Caucus, 2 appointments by the Hispanic Commission, and 4 by the Bishop (The Black Clergy Caucus, Hispanic Commission, and Bishop may appoint persons of any race.)
- collaborates with contractors to provide 2.5-day anti-racism training retreats for the diocese, organizes full day biennial conferences, oversees activities of the Anti-Racism Team, manages diocesan anti-racism budget for these items
- meets monthly, reports monthly to Diocesan Council, and reports annually to diocesan convention
- All Commission members are also active members of the Team and attend and support almost every 2.5-day anti-racism training session.
The Anti-Racism Team
- consists of all persons who have completed at least one 2.5-day anti-racism training session
- lists more than 200 people as members who choose to remain involved in organizing against racism and Team tasks
- develops trained facilitators to present introductory anti-racism workshops to parishes
- organizes quarterly meetings and diocesan forums on current racial justice issues
We offer congregations a variety of formats that range from a 90-minute orientation to a full-day workshop, which can be customized to meet a congregation’s needs. These trainings are designed to help members live into the baptismal covenant of respecting the dignity of every individual.
Resources and Bibliography
We welcome you to further engage in meaningful resources which may continue our joint efforts in combating the sin of racism.
Please watch this video by The Rev. David Billings, one of the leaders of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. This video speaks to the essential nature of the work of the Commission and Team.
We invite you to explore the following links with further information:
Click here for a bibliography of suggested resources from The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, containing many works that inform and expand upon the contents of our two-and-a-half day workshops.
Click here for a list of on-hand resources available from the Diocese of New Jersey and the Anti-Racism Commission. If you are interested in borrowing any of these items, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.