Racial Reconciliation Clergy Day “Engagement”
October 4, 2018
9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Racial Reconciliation Team Co-facilitators*
The Rev. Robert Spainhour | Tel: (843) 343-6871 firstname.lastname@example.org
Maurice L. Harris | Tel: (513) 704-8395 | email@example.com
*Please contact the co-facilitators with any event-related questions.
Racial Reconciliation Committee Members
- The Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely
- The Rev. Robert Spainhour
- Maurice L. Harris
- The Rev. Nicholas Porter
- The Rev. Karen Montagno
- The Rev. Beth Ann Maier
- The Rev. Peggy Mathauer
- Jeffrey Hiam
- The Rev. Jean Jersey
- Susan Stock
Event Description & Objective
Engagement is the second stage of a long-term, four-phase process of Acknowledgement, Engagement, Reconciliation, and Restoration. This process, which launched last year, is based on best practices in social justice, prayerfully considered, and is guided by our mandates from General Convention. The objective of this event is to explore Engagement, as defined below.
Engagement must happen on personal, interpersonal, and organizational levels. People who are engaged in racial healing are able to name the ways in which they are increasing their cultural competence and becoming involved in communities of color. Engaged people are willing to tell the story of their racial healing journey as it relates to the church and the wider community. Engaged people have moved beyond the “I can believe racism happens here” stage and have become, in part, evangelists of racial healing by sharing their knowledge with others. Clergy lead this effort by eliciting the sharing of stories within congregations and challenging them to deepen their efforts in racial healing. This understanding of Engagement has led the Racial Reconciliation Team to the following working definition, which will frame our discussions:
“ENGAGEMENT is what we do once we’ve acknowledged our blindspots.”
We stated earlier that engaged people have become, in part, evangelists of racial healing. That said, we challenge you to reflect on the definition of evangelism provided by The Episcopal Church and consider how this fits with racial healing. We hope to discuss this further at Clergy Day, as well.
“EVANGELISM is the spiritual practice of seeking, naming and celebrating Jesus’ loving presence in everyone’s stories, and then inviting people to form or deepen their own relationship with God in Christ”
Pre-work (To be completed in advance of Clergy Day)
The pre-work is divided into two categories: Required and Optional. Your completion of the required pre-work is essential, as it will serve as the grounding for the small group discussions at Clergy Day. You are welcome to complete the tasks in the order you like.
Task #1: Read or listen to White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise.
- Reimbursement: Because White Like Me is a requirement, and you may have to purchase it, Bishop Ely will reimburse up to $20 at Clergy Day. Please bring your receipt.
- White Like Me is available in hardcopy, digital, and audio formats:
Task #2: Listen to the Podcast “1st Steps to Becoming Actively Anti-Racist” (LINK)
Task #3: Read the article “Can Science Help People Unlearn Their Unconscious Biases?” (LINK)
Task #1: Read this summary of Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People (LINK)
Those who attended the 2017 Clergy Day will recall having taken the Race Implicit Association Test (IAT). The book Blindspot is authored by the creators of the Race IAT and details extensive research related to implicit bias, its influence on conscious behavior, and strategies to counteract implicit bias.
Task #2: Read Speaking Our Faith: Equipping the Next Generations to Tell the Old, Old Story by Kit Carlson
In preparation for Diocesan Convention, Bishop Ely has encouraged the people of the Diocese to read this book. The Racial Reconciliation Team puts forth an additional challenge for clergy to think about links that may exist between evangelism and racial healing as you read this book.
- Speaking Our Faith is available in hardcopy and digital formats:
Task #3: Read Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fifty years after King first penned this book, we are asking ourselves the same question. This book, which explores how poverty has been manipulated as a tool in the racial divide in US, helped spark the original Poor People’s Campaign and has been a critical reference in the new Poor People’s Campaign.
- Where Do We Go From Here is available in hardcopy, digital and audio formats:
Task #4: Read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
In the spirit of expanding our cultural competence, we encourage you to read this book by a Nigerian-born author who explores the difference between being an African-American and an American-African. (For those who’d like a preview, try this New York Times book review: LINK.)