Sacred Conversations on Race: Taking Action

For 5 weeks, members and friends of Lakewood United Church of Christ in St. Petersburg met on Tuesday evenings to discuss race from many different perspectives. Various articles, exercises and resources were used to help learn about race as well as white privilege and the role of the church. At the last session, participants were given the opportunity to make commitments toward eliminating the negative effects of racism in themselves, in church, and in society. These are the commitments that were made by people in the group:

Listen to complaints of blacks with a sense of legitimacy
Vote
Give help, especially financially
Explore how black employees are treated at businesses that I patronize
Engage with more blacks
Challenge racism when I see it, especially in the facility that I live in
Have more compassion
Engage and converse with more African Americans
Work on forgiveness of self and others
Speak more about injustice in a non-confrontational way
Arrange a social engagement with someone who is black
Attend more events in the African American community that are open to the public
Encourage blacks who are trying to succeed helping overcome negative peer pressure in school and workplace
Support initiatives that may come up that are anti-racist
Talk more with grandchildren and great grandchildren about race, their experiences in school, sports, etc. especially concerning bullying and harassment
Face my own thoughts and racist attitudes
Invite black people to dinner and to church
Get off my high horse and see what is really happening out and about
Examine use of language and words that can imply racist ideas – high/low, good/bad, us/them
Talk with employees at senior citizen residential community about their jobs, etc.
Pledge money to Rise to Win, initiative for equality in sports
Have more interaction with colleagues who are black
Find out more about how workers are treated in the facility that I live in
Write letters to the editor, etc.
Be involved politically
Partner with an African American church to meet, interact, do something together
Make sure to be welcoming to blacks who visit the church
Work at becoming increasingly aware of racial issues and pray about where and how to be involved
Write to politicians
Support black owned restaurants
Make a difference in the senior community in which I live in terms of pay and training of service personnel, working with other residents from the church
Call the school board about the segregation at Maximo Elementary School
Have a black friend over to my home

Below are links to some of the readings and resources that were used in the Sacred Conversations on Race at LUCC:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/improve-dialogue-race-relations/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/good-men-project/why-its-so-hard-to-talk-to-white-people-about-racism_b_7183710.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/08/across-america-whites-are-biased-and-they-dont-even-know-it/

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

http://racism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=378:white11a2&catid=66&Itemid=237

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9ndyej7yuu

http://www.cirtl.net/files/PartI_CreatingAwareness_WhitePrivilegeUnpackingtheInvisibleKnapsack.pdf

http://www.ucc.org/sacred-conversation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtHWjL4z1W

http://www.warren.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=967

http://www.bendbulletin.com/nation/3531833-151/parker-pushed-the-media-toward-racial-inclusion

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