Weekly Reflections on becoming an Anti-Racist

Below are the emails we’ve sent out since George Floyd’s murder and the protests that follow.  Each email has a number of resources to keep us moving towards becoming Anti-Racists.

May 31st

Here’s a video we used in worship as a prayer of lament.

June 9th

Over the last two weeks, large and consistent protests have demanded that we as a country reckon with the racism that is still abundantly present.

You may have felt moved and inspired to do someething. If that is true, let me encourage you to strike while the iron is hot. Don’t let this moment pass without taking whatever the next step is for you. Not sure what to do?

Here are two excellent options:

  1. TONIGHT, 8:30PM – SaraJane and Micah Herrboldt are welcoming anyone interested in learning how to become an anti-racist to a Zoom call. You don’t have to make a long term commitment in order to check it out tonight. Simply come, here their plans for the coming weeks and decide if it’s right for you. The Zoom info, and a  letter from SaraJane and Micah can be found here.
  2. I came across this excellent resource that can help you find the right resource for your growth. Look at the left hand column. Where do you think you are on the journey (be honest :). Each step has excellent resource suggestions and steps for you to take.

Onward, friends. Let’s not miss this moment.

Peace- Chris

June 11th

Friends,
I used to think that racism wasn’t my issue. It was something for others to try to tackle. But over the last three years I’ve come to realize that engaging racism is one choice we all must make.
That said (and before you think I’ve gone overboard), let me say this: how you face and respond to racism may look differently than it does for me. In other words, not everyone must quit their job to become a full-time activist. There are many choices for how we engage this important work. What is important is that we engage.
Here are a couple of simple, accessible possibilities:
1. Educate: through this Friday, IVP is giving away one of its many e-books on racism and justice to each of its customers. Head here and use promo code Just20
2. Diversify: who you are listening to on this topic matters — and listening to people of color really matters. Below is a list of voices that will encourage, challenge, and diversify your social media intake. One note: listen to these voices with an abundance of humility. Instead of becoming defensive, let their words sit with and teach you.
Onward, friends.
Peace-
Chris
Instagram:

@wokebrownfem, @nowhitesaviours, @theimtiredproject, @rachel.cargle, @advancementproject, @britthawthorne, @indyamoore, @wearyourvoice, @ckyourprivilege, @alokvmenon, @theunapologeticallybrownseries, @austinchanning, @theconsciouskid, @antiracismctr, @_nickyflash_, @heyqueenyoucute

Twitter:

@clintsmithIII, @keeangayamahtta, @DrIbram, @MsPackyetti, @JBouie, @thearmchaircom, @RevJacquiLewis @drchanequa, @ava, @YNPierce, @esglaude, @jemelehill, @_nickyflash_,@nhannahjones

June 19th

Branch family –
Time has been playing tricks on us in this pandemic – moving both slowly and quickly at the same time. I was stunned today to realize that it’s been nearly a month (a month!) since George Floyd’s murder, three months since Breonna Taylor lost her life and four months since Ahmaud Arbery was chased down and killed.
 
If you are white — and you check in with yourself — you may find that you are growing fatigued by all that has been going on. You’re not alone. We are in a pivot point in history and it is exhausting.
 
So how do we stay engaged? (and we must stay engaged if anything is to change).
 
1. We have to take care of ourselves.
Each of us must be incredibly intentional to do those things that refill our tanks and keep us centered on Christ. The pursuit of justice takes persistent strength and resolve. So how are you caring for yourself? What could you do, even this weekend, to become recentered and restored?
 
2. Take the next step (not the next 10….just the nextstep)
We’re all in different places and so your next step might not look like mine. But here are a few ideas that I hope may be helpful this Juneteenth.
  • We cannot move into a new future without understanding our past. Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales and co-host (with Skye Jethani) of the Holy Post Podcast, released a helpful history of race that will help you understand how we got to where we are today. It’s 17 minutes, but stick with it till the end.
  • As white folks, we often get hung up on the anger and rage demonstrated by our black brothers and sisters. Esau McCaulley, assistant professor at Wheaton College, writes about this and places it within a biblical framework.
  • I’ve seen many African Americans encourage us to not just read books about racism (which is good and important!), but to also read things about the life, vitality and beauty of our black brothers and sisters. To be frank, this is fairly new territory for me. But here are two autobiographies I read last summer.
    • Howard Thurman has been such a gift to me. His autobiography is excellent, as is his best known work, Jesus and the Disinherited.
    • Ida B. Wells is one of the fiercest, most courageous people I’ve ever encountered. Her autobiography is hard to find right now, but put it on your list.
Grateful to be on this journey with you.
Onward, friends.
Peace-
Chris
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