Rallies in Charlottesville, VA, in the summer of 2017 have reopened old wounds that reach back centuries. Rhetoric in the public sphere has escalated. Last year, in one terrible week in July of 2016, there were police shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota as well as shootings of police in Dallas that tear at the United States with questions about our humanity and how we treat each other.
As the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we have long claimed to be a people who take action in the face of injustices and oppression. It is time for action.
The Justice Table offers these resources and suggestions for congregations and individuals who want to make a difference in their context. Additional videos, books, videos and worship resources available from Reconciliation Ministry.
The Justice Primer study is available in English, Spanish, Korean and French linked from the Justice page.
- Churches and Disciple ministries in the St. Louis area banded together after the events in Ferguson, holding a summit that produced reading lists, conversations and led to a documentary film, Injustice Anywhere. You can host a showing and discussion of this film in your context.
- Sponsor a multicultural day camp with themes of conflict resolution like First Christian in Ruidoso, NM.
- Many communities already have pulpit and joint worship opportunities between congregations of different cultures.
- East Dallas Christian Church reached out the the local transit authority office to give the staff support after the killing of one of their officers.
- Atlanta has long had a program linking precincts with churches for mutual support and communication. The department also hosts “coffee with a cop” – something a church could host.
- In Kansas City (MO), an interfaith group including Disciples, Sikhs, Muslims and Jews went to the police department and had prayer together.
- Rev. Jesse Jackson in Oklahoma City is involved in community conversations that include all constituencies.
- In West Lafayette, IN, the preschool children made signs and serenaded several officers from the police offices next door.
- Get involved with the pro-reconciliation/anti-racism team in your region.
- Sponsor a 20-minute service of lament modeled on this one from the Christian Church in Illinois-Wisconsin.
If you have additional examples, please e-mail them with links to other information if appropriate.
People of Color
Self-care for People of Color after Trauma (JustJasmine blog by Jasmine Banks Brown)
4 Self-Care Resources for Days When the World is Terrible (compiled by ColorLine – includes a link to the article above)
5 Digital Self-Care Practices Black People Can Use While Coping With Trauma (compiled by Huffington Post, July 7, 2016)
5 Reasons We Need Black-Only Spaces (And No, Reverse Racism Isn’t One of Them) (by Michal “MJ”Jones in Everyday Feminism online magazine, Sept. 28, 2015)
Tips for self-care (by Imani J. Walker in the Tri-State Defender, July 8, 2016)
Police Officers Responses to Chronic Stress (paper by Andrew M. Leeds, May 2009 includes self-care tips)
Hidden Collateral Damage of Police Shootings (blog on the effects on the officer by Brian Knowler, Aug. 10, 2015)
White Privilege: Let’s Talk (United Church of Christ free curriculum, Fall 2016)
Poisonous Threads of Racism (Sharon’s Blog, May 1, 2015)
The Weed of Racism Still Grows (Sharon’s Blog, February 1, 2016)
Letter to the Church from College of Regional Ministers April 2016
Sermon video of Rev. Dietra Baker Wise following Ferguson events in 2014
The Nive Nulls video (10 minutes – white privilege)
Tim Wise: White Privilege
- On White Privilege video(9.5 minutes)
- 400 Years’ Head Start and Advantages video (19.5 minutes)
- Interview: How to Explain White Privilege video (11 minutes)
What riding my bike has taught me (article by Jeremy Dowsett)
White Privilege: An insidious virus that is eating America from within (Salon magazine by Andrew O’Hehir, Aug. 23, 2014)
28 Common Racist Actions and Behaviors blog by Jona Olsson
Seeing Whiteness: Exercises in understanding race (Christian Century magazine by Reggie Williams, July 7, 2016)
Capital Area Regional Minister letter re: July 2016 shootings by Allen Harris
Black Lives Matter (blog from Prison Ministries Affinity Group of National Benevolent Association July 12, 2016)
Injustice Anywhere documentary and study guide hosted by National Benevolent Association
School-to-Prison Pipeline study resources from Reconciliation Ministry
Download a Racism Study Pack from Reconciliation Ministry’s resource page
Justice Primer (8 sessions)
Becoming a Just Peace-Making Church materials from Council on Christian Unity
Books from Chalice Press
- Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines by Sandhya Rani Jha
- Towards the “Other America”: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter by Chris Crass
- Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community by Leah Gunning Francis
- Born Apart, Becoming One: Disciples Defeating Racism by Chris Hobgood
- Room at the Table: Struggle for Unity and Equality in Disciples History by Sandhya Rani Jha
- Inclusion: Making Room for Grace by Eric H.F. Law
- Newsworthy: Nine Ways to Live the Good News Now by Chris Altrock
- Reimagining the Human: Theological Anthropology in Response to Systemic Evil by Eleazar S. Fernandez
- Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation by William J. Barber III
Find information for white allies at SURJ
Racism by the Numbers video with John Green (4 minutes)
To better understand how we are unintentionally subject to implicit bias – take the online Implicit Association Test at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/