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.
Simply stated, this ‘sacred’ relationship began as a ‘chance’ meeting: two women, one of African descent and the other of European, meeting for the first time in a zoom room in 2018. This was the meeting place of the first cohort of the Sacred Conversations 2 End Racism facilitators training, brilliantly crafted and uniquely presented by Rev. Dr. Velda Love.
Our time in this transformative experience would have profound and lasting effects on who we are, what we are compelled to do, and a commitment to this relationship whose sacred purpose is to work towards eradicating white skin supremacy. Out of the intensive years long—and still ongoing – process, we became certified facilitators and subsequently founded the non-profit, Nurturing Justice: Nurturing Racial Justice through Relational Transformation. Our call compels us to continue the work we were led to do by Rev. Dr. Love, providing numerous antiracism programs in order to create relational groups who will forever be drawn into this holy and necessary work, as we have been. Our approach is relational. We encourage meaningful conversations, deep relationship building, and the presentation of carefully curated resources, providing the tools for sustained engagement on issues of racial justice. We foster accountability through relationship and community building, offering space for spiritual support and meaningful reflection as we seek to build the Beloved Community.
What makes our partnership and our facilitation thrive is that we are always actively working to break down white supremacy within our own relationship while also attempting to decolonize ourselves. We challenge each other constantly (and at times to one another’s great annoyance) to continuously wrestle with imagining a world free of racial injustice and every other injustice which is woven into the fabric of white skin supremacy. This is a lifetime journey. This is who we are and this is the work we are called to do.
– Rev. Dr. Kris Watson (New York Conference, executive director of the NY Metro Association) and Rev. Clare Twomey (Rocky Mountain Conference, co-pastor Vista Grande UCC , Colorado Springs) . Co-founders of Nurturing Justice Collaborative (nurturingjustice.org and nurturingjustice.com)
Beloved Trinity, whose nature is community, we thank you for those who share the journey toward racial justice with us. Infuse our relationships with compassionate creativity, joyful accountability, and grace-filled truth-telling, so that we may love and challenge each other into a new world. Until your kingdom comes, we pray. Amen.
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