“God sends the Church to work for justice in the world: exercising its power for the common good; dealing honestly in personal and public spheres; seeking dignity and freedom for all people…” — Book of Order, W-5.0304
One of the three tenets of the Matthew 25 initiative is the dismantling of systemic racism. Systemic racism refers to the system of structures, procedures and/or processes that disadvantage a specific race. According to the NAACP, it refers to the rules, practices and customs once rooted in law with residual effects that reverberate throughout society. Systemic racism creates disparities in many “success indicators” such as wealth, the criminal justice system, employment, housing, health care, politics, and education.
For many of us, our response to this charge is undoubtedly “what can we do?” We understand that change is needed, but we are not sure where to start. Author Layla F. Saad says the better question to ask ourselves is “How have you managed not to know?” Why haven’t we asked these questions before and how has our privilege prevented us from seeing these inequities before? In her book, Me and White Supremacy, Saad challenges readers to do the work of dismantling systemic racism by first understanding their connection to the history that perpetuates it.
Adult Ed will be using this critical text in our Fall session to help us do the necessary and vital work that can ultimately lead to improving race relations. Included are historical and cultural contexts, moving stories and anecdotes, definitions, and examples, giving us the language to understand racism, and to dismantle our own biases. It will help us to:
- Understand Anti-blackness, racial stereotypes, and cultural appropriation
- Change the way that we view and respond to race
- Demonstrate how to continue the work to create social change
Set up as a 28-day reflection study, we will use our Sunday forum to discuss the previous 7 days of work. Discussion will continue to occur via ZOOM at this time. If you would like to join us, please email Adulted@pcgny.org so we can send you an invitation and information on obtaining a copy of the book. All are welcome!!!
Schedule of Study:
Sept 13: Welcome to the Work
Sept 20: The Basics
Sept 27: Anti-Blackness, Racial Stereotypes & Cultural Appropriation
Oct 4: Allyship
Oct 11: Power, Relationships, and Commitments
Oct 18: Now What? Continuing the Work after Day 28