On August 5, 2020, in response to the death of George Floyd and the ongoing racial tensions in our country, The American Baptist Churches USA held a Call to Prayer. One resulting outcome of that Call to Prayer event was the formation of an Anti-Racism Task Force. This group seeks to provide anti-racism resources, exercises, and other materials to be used in our own personal, congregational, and institutional work and is preparing to host a denominational wide anti-racism symposium. We join our ABC-USA brothers and sisters in the belief that when the sin of racism hurts human beings of color, it hurts all human beings, and hurts our God. We are thankful for their work and encourage you to join us in engaging the resources and experiences recommended.
Below are three suggestions from Rev. Dr. Natalie C. Wimberly, co-chair of the Anti-Racism Task Force, on how to begin the process of identifying, understanding, and addressing racism in our own lives and communities. In addition, we have included a curated list of recommended resources that come from both the ABC-USA Anti-racism Task Force and pastors from our own community and state.
- Join a racially diverse Bible Study. This is easier now than ever before because of the plethora of virtual Bible Studies currently available. One way to do this is to speak with your regional staff to see if they or any congregations in the area are offering or know of any studies being offered. (i.e. ABC of Greater Indianapolis is offering an open study on Jemar Tisby’s book, The Color of Compromise).
- Imagine what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes. Choose one person and write one narrative regarding a particular situation that person has/is currently experiencing. Have a conversation with that person. Were you correct in your thoughts about that person’s experience? What were some assumptions you made? Where did these assumptions originate?
- Plan a conversation with someone from another ethnic/racial group. Before you meet with them, write down some questions. Ask questions you would want to be asked by someone trying to get to know you. Be curious about the human being to whom you are talking. Do more listening than talking. What did you learn about the individual? What did you learn about yourself?
“You Can Do Anti-Racism Work Now!”
©Copyright 2020 by Dr. Natalie C. Wimberly. All rights reserved.