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Sacred Conversations To End Racism

 

The United Church of Christ has a long history of working towards eradicating systemic and institutional racism. In 2003 General Synod 24 adopted a resolution calling for the UCC to be an anti-racist church stating that “racism is rooted in a belief of the superiority of whiteness and bestows benefits, unearned rights, rewards, opportunities, advantages, access, and privilege on Europeans and European descendants.”

In 2018 Sacred Conversations to End Racism (SC2ER), a Restorative Racial Justice Journey curriculum was created to address and dismantle racism within the Christian Church and society. The study guide and resources offer lessons to dispel myths of white skin and dominant culture supremacy. SC2ER seeks to acknowledge the historical development of humanity being separated and assigned into hierarchical categories based on skin color. The construction became known as “race.” The men, all of European descent, systematized and institutionalized humans by race categories of superior and inferior, which was taught as truth, and adopted and supported through government laws and policies. Today, we are the beneficiaries of the myth of white skin supremacy within the United States. The architects of the myth constructed language and beliefs identifying Euro-American descendants as superior and non-European descendants as inferior. The myth was used to justify practices of genocide against Indigenous communities and enslaving Africans. The Protestant Christian Church was among those institutions supported by and benefited financially from the practices.

Sacred Conversations to End Racism includes restorative racial justice resources as a corrective to the historical and contemporary harm, injury, and trauma enacted upon non-European descendants. The ongoing impact of racism and xenophobia in contemporary society requires Christians to commit to a journey of restoration and repair among God’s people impacted by individual and systemic oppression and marginalization.

SC2ER features resources and spiritual practices from people groups marginalized by white skin supremacy education perpetuated within the Christian Church and society. The SC2ER study guide is not a self-guided resource. SC2ER requires training from restorative racial justice practitioners.

SACRED CONVERSATIONS TO END RACISM (SC2ER): A RESTORATIVE JUSTICE JOURNEY
You are invited to begin a restorative racial justice journey with Sacred Conversations to End Racism (SC2ER). Participants will be relying on the facilitator to create a welcoming environment, understand the material, communicate well, listen intently, and provide structure for a healthy environment and interactive group dynamics. You do not have to be an expert, or have all the answers to everyone’s questions. The facilitator’s role is to lead the group, keep the space respectful, open, and encourage people to go deeper.

There are three Journey Modules requiring an 8-to-10 week time commitment per Module. Facilitators are required to spend time reviewing and preparing for weekly sessions. Facilitators should be committed to and comfortable with leading Christian groups in culture-based dialogues about the Bible, theology, and historical narratives and current events. Facilitators will invite diverse groups of people to share the SC2ER restorative justice journey experience.

If you are interested in being a SC2ER Facilitator, fill out the application, here for the 2020 SC2ER Facilitator Training Cohort.

SC2ER facilitator training begins Tuesday, January 28, 2020. Applicants will be notified by email regarding their eligibility. Accepted applicants will receive an email confirmation from the UCC Minister for Racial Justice, Rev. Dr. Velda Love.

The SC2ER Restorative Racial Justice Study and Facilitator Guides require facilitator training. The study and facilitator guide frameworks are culture-centered learning approaches. Resources have been developed to assist trained facilitators lead participants through each learning module of SC2ER.

SC2ER Module One – Two – & Three Requires Facilitator Training
The Module outline, training schedules, materials, and resources will be distributed by email to accepted applicants. After trainees have successfully completed the required training, SC2ER facilitators will be equipped to lead groups and:

  • Explore practical ways to have “sacred conversation to end racism”
  • Discover the true origins and beginnings of human beings before the construction of race categories
  • Engage with biblical texts regarding equitable treatment of all God’s people
  • Learn about the mythological construction of race and the reality of racism in America
  • Participate in role plays to strengthen active listening skills and construct new language and response techniques
  • Learn how to invite others to be on the journey to dismantle structural, institutional, and individual racism
  • Develop strategies to move from conversations to advocacy and activism
  • Work toward actively dismantling and eradicating racism within your church, community, city, state, and nation

For more information contact Rev. Dr. Velda Love, Minister for Racial Justice and Local Church Ministries Lovev@ucc.org (216) 736-3719 or Alegra Martin martina@ucc.org (216) 736-3712

For more information and videos visit UCC’s website here.

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