“I’m so tired of the UCC only focusing on racism when there are so many real issues out there.” These were the first words I heard at the Join the Movement booth on the third day of General Synod, as a man of European descent approached our table. I could feel myself flush with anger as he rummaged through our bin of “Antiracism is my spiritual practice” buttons, but I leaned in with curiosity and asked what the issues were that he was most concerned about. And then we talked...Read More
Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss, Senior Minister, First Congregational UCC, Washington DC shares her insights about the role of storytelling in movement building and how the Join the Movement toward Racial Justice initiative connects us to each other and deepens our practices of antiracism.
Interview with Sarah Collins Rudolph
The ongoing rise of white nationalist terror in our contemporary context, the prevalence of trauma for Black and Brown people in America, and the political and systemic roll back of voting, educational, reproductive and other basic human rights and freedoms, require our persistent attention. Let us listen to the story of Sarah Collins Rudolph to see what history has to teach us about repairing our present and creating a more just future.
A Movement Toward Racial Justice in the German Church and Evangelical Church in Westphalia
Rev. Dr. Velda Love, UCC Minister for Racial Justice shares about a recent trip to Germany to lead workshops for BIPOC faith leaders at the third annual "Church and Racism" conference. From powerful antiracism gatherings, to encounters with the Germany's history of colonial violence and the current efforts toward decolonization, read how this profound journey left her a heart full of gratitude, emotional connections with BIPOC siblings, and a deeper commitment remaining a drum major for justice with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
A Mostly White Church in a Mostly White Town: Racial Justice is our Responsibility
For many who join the movement toward racial justice, a particular moment or experiences serves as a catalyst. Something happens that makes it impossible to go along unchanged. But what happens after that moment of conviction? How does a cataclysmic moment become a life-long journey of antiracist practice? Follow First Congregational Church of Hopkinton, NH's journey from a moment of awakening and conviction through education and exploration to covenant, commitment, and ever-unfolding actions.
#ProtectPhoeun: Ending Immigration Detention, Promoting Healing – Not Harm
Faith communities in California are organizing with immigrants and their families to end immigration detention in California and deportations. In May, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity and the Dignity Not Detention coalition embarked on a 1000-mile Pilgrimage for a Better Future from Yuba to Calexico, stopping at the seven California detention centers where thousands of immigrants are deprived of their freedom and held indefinitely and arbitrarily. Phoeun You is one of those immigrants.
Movement-Maker Profile: Rev. Deborah Lee
JTM Movement-Maker Profiles highlight a movement-maker who is doing the spirit-led work of racial justice in their own context. In these interview-style articles, we ask them about how they understand change, how they sustain their work, and whose legacies they continue in the movement toward racial justice. We hope that their work, ideas and stories will be inspiration for your own. In this profile, we are excited to introduce you to Rev. Deborah Lee, Executive Director of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, an organization working for the dignity and full inclusion of immigrants and people impacted by incarceration .
Messengers for Justice: Trans Latinx Women Speaking Out in Collaboration
Among a population that experiences multiple layers of oppression, transgender immigrants of color are among the most vulnerable to discrimination and violence. Rev. Rhina Ramos shares the story of the collaboration between Ministerio Latino, a UCC Spanish-speaking congregation that welcomes the LGBTQI Latinx immigrant community, and Charlotte, a formerly detained trans Latina advocating for trans siblings who were still incarcerated.
An Open Letter…And We’re Still Here
Spoken word poet, Schmian Evans offers an open letter for Trans Day of Visibility - and every day - that celebrates the persistent resistant belovedness of trans, queer and nonbinary people of color whose light cannot be dimmed by transphobia or anti-trans policies and laws.
Excavating Hidden Histories: An Antiracist Practice of Healing
As conflicts and controversies swirl around the ways in which historical narratives shape our individual and collective consciousness, Dr. Renee Harrison and Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss share stories of one UCC local church’s antiracist practice of historical excavation.
Building a Movement Led from the Grassroots
Moving toward racial justice means developing intersectional and grassroots movements that center the voices and experiences of the most impacted. The UCC Council for Climate Justice is doing just that as they cultivate a partnership of solidarity with Honor the Earth, an indigenous led environmental justice organization.
Companioning Through Violence in Indigenous and Afro-descendant Communities in Colombia
Accompaniment as an antiracist practice, embodies transnational concern for human dignity and flourishing by ensuring that violence and injustice cannot remain hidden or unaccountable. Through the sharing of experiences and commitments to action, accompaniment combines compassion and empathy with the action that solidarity requires. In Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Columbia, accompaniment strives to offset the fear upon which violence in the region thrives.
Preserving the Drums: Cultural Resources Creating a More Just World
Amid power struggles between Venezuela’s ruling party and opposition this January, the topic of loosening US sanctions against the country has again emerged as a bargaining chip in ongoing negotiations. Here, the community in Barlovento wrestles with the unjust impacts of sanctions and histories of oppression by doing the antiracism work of preserving cultural resources that provide new pathways toward a future of flourishing.
Learning and Leveraging: Practicing Soul-Searching Solidarity
Our faith in a liberating, incarnate God calls us to change not only the cultural but also the material conditions that deal death to so many of God’s children. First Congregational Church of Long Beach shares their involvement with the city’s budget process as part of their spiritual practice of antiracism.
Getting to the Root: Moving Beyond Performative Antiracism
If, as Angela Davis reminds us, “radical simply means grasping things at the root,” making our racial justice work radical involves more than the outward actions we take. It also requires introspection and internal transformation, both individually and institutionally.
As We Worship, So Will We Live
In the same way that the movement for racial justice cannot be separated from faith commitments to do justice and love our neighbors, so too, antiracism is part of the interweaving of our worship, our activism, and our faith formation. How do we cultivate the mutually-informing dynamic interplay between these different aspects of our life in community?
Creating Change through Relationships
Facilitating movement work toward racial justice involves not only growing knowledge and understanding, but also fostering relationships of accountability. Two antiracist facilitators reflect on working to break down white supremacy within their own relationship while also providing space for others to imagine new ways of being in the world.
Becoming antiracist is a practice that requires spiritual formation, education, and capacity-building. Our resources are specifically curated to support faith-based racial justice activism and advocacy, from grassroots initiatives to society-wide transformations.
Longing for faithful lenses to help interpreting the sea of information and events that move our world? Our “In the News” reflections offer spirited engagements with current events in the movement toward racial justice. Plus - use our calendar to stay informed about upcoming workshops, webinars, retreats, actions, and more.
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