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Dismantle Racism

Members of the Dismantling Racism Task Force are Wendell Anderson, Ruth Brancolini, Sam Burton, Jim Carlock (chair), Jean Hunt (co-chair), Selby McCash, Carol Walker, and Alda White. Watch for their updates in future newsletters.

Dismantling racism for the sake of all people includes the holy and life-giving work of becoming an anti-racist: one who supports an anti-racist policy through their actions or expressing anti-racist ideas. Such actions include speaking up when you witness discrimination against anyone and interrupting offensive jokes or stories and explaining why such acts are offensive/disrespectful. The Episcopal Church has the following statement:   

    ”As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we dream and work to foster Beloved Communities where all people may experience dignity and abundant life and see themselves and others as beloved children of God.”

This also relates to one of our baptismal vows, which we renew several times a year, either at a baptism or on the feast days at which baptism is appropriate:

      “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” We, the people respond, “I will, with God’s help.”

The Trinity Vestry has assigned a Task Force to investigate and develop a Plan to Dismantle Racism. This group has been meeting regularly since early August and working diligently in the areas of conducting outreach, developing goals, and providing opportunities for education and training.

Members of the Task Force have been communicating with a coalition of local clergy, as well as leaders from churches both in the Fredericksburg and Richmond areas to share ideas, approaches and resources. Additionally, Task Force members are applying a strategic planning approach in developing a plan to dismantle racism, including creating a vision statement, mission statement, identifying opportunities and threat, and plotting a course for short- and long-term strategies. Guidance is being received from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia’s Minister for Missional Engagement. Also, the Trinity Vestry is being given updates on progress.

 

If you would like more information about the Task Force, you may contact the Assistant Leader, Jean Hunt

 

Book Reviews

Task Force members will be reviewing 3-5 books bi-monthly (2nd and 4th Wednesdays) in the newsletter. The books will be selected from the comprehensive list (currently 23 books) found under the Suggested Book List on this page.

The next selection of books are:

1. It’s the Little Things: Everyday interactions that Anger, Annoy, and Divide the Races, Lena Williams, 2000, nonfiction, 304 pp.
The book is a New York Times journalist’s view of racial interactions in schools, home, workplace, etc., mostly from her own and her friends’ experiences. It’s all the more compelling because it was written 20 years ago and is unfortunately even more applicable today.

2. America’s Original Sin, Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America, Jim Wallis, 2015, nonfiction, 272 pp.
The author offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians – particularly white Christians – urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.

3. Jesus and the Disinherited, Howard Thurman, 1949, nonfiction, 112 pp.
The author interprets the teachings of Jesus through the experience of the oppressed and discusses nonviolent responses to oppression.

4. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race, Beverly Daniel Tatum, 1997 (updated 2017), nonfiction, 320 pp.
Dr. Tatum is President Emerita of Spellman College. This book has been well-updated and contains a very readable professor’s documentation and discussion of racism in America – very comprehensive and informative.

5.Under Our Skin an online video series produced by The Seattle Times can be found at https://projects.seattletimes.com/2016/under-our-skin/#
This series of brief videos grew out of conversations between the staff at The Seattle Times about how they cover race when national and local events such as police shootings, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, protests, and charged campaign rhetoric dominate the headlines, as they do today, and the desire to probe the issues more deeply. The people who participated in this project are of diverse races and backgrounds. They share personal reflections and stories about the meanings of terms associated with race and racism such as racist, institutional racism, ally, micro aggression, and all lives matter.

 

Suggested Book List

For a list of books recommended by the Trinity Task Force to Plan to Dismantle Racism, click here

Task Force members will be reviewing 3-5 books bi-monthly (2nd and 4th Wednesdays) in the newsletter. The books will be selected from the comprehensive list (currently 23 books) found above.

First set of reviews can be found here.