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“The time for justice is always right now.” -Henrietta Bell Wells
(Introduction by leea allen, Minister of Faith and Justice at Virginia Highland Church in Atlanta)
Recently we’ve witnessed multiple acts of violence and injustice. For many Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) in our community, the emotions laid bare by the vigilante killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA and the police killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta have been compounded by the grief of the COVID-19 pandemic that rapidly and disproportionately impacts already marginalized populations (including Black and Native/Indigenous people, people experiencing homelessness, and people living behind prison walls).
To make matters infinitely worse, we are witnessing hateful rhetoric employed by some government officials to incite violence. Watching in real-time a militarized use of force against citizens across the nation in cities where these injustices have gone unresolved for too long.
If you are a Black or person of color, please be gentle with yourself. Take time to truly feel your emotions — all of them. Listen to your heart and to your body. Take breaks from the news and social media, and rest when you need to. Do not feel obligated to respond to racist commentary or to educate white people on what they should do. Hold your loved ones close. Most important, lean into your resources and reach out to your support system, including spiritual, mental, and emotional health providers.
If you are white, today is a good day to check on the Black people in your network — your friends, family, and others who you have genuine relationships with. Find out how they are feeling without being presumptive or pushy. Ask what they might need with no strings attached. Listen. Learn. Share the resources provided below with others in your network and educate one another. Talk to your children about antiracism and have meaningful conversations. Take action. Donate time and resources to support localized efforts for change. Additionally, be wary of what you share online. During an already sensitive time, graphic images and videos of violence can cause further harm and pain; be sure to critically examine your intent and reason for re-posting.
Some Suggested Resources About Racism
The resources below have been suggested by individuals in our churches as a way for individuals and churches to engage in learning about racism. Several have been used for adult study groups. Additional suggestions will be added.
Resources from the UCC
- Racial Justice page on UCC website
- Sacred Conversations to End Racism – UCC Curriculum
- White Privilege: Let’s Talk – UCC Curriculum
- Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God – by Kelly Brown Douglas
- The Combahee River Collective Statement – by The Combahee River Collective
- The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action – by Audre Lorde
- 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice – by Corinne Shutack
- Books to Teach White Children and Teens How to Undo Racism and White Supremacy from Charis Books
- Me and White Supremacy – by Layla F. Saad
- The Cross and the Lynching Tree – by James Cone
- The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing – by Anneliese Singh
- Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk about Race and How to do it – by Shelley Tochluk
- Under Our Skin – by Benjamin Watson.
- A People’s History of America – by Howard Zinn
- 13th, a Netflix documentary exposing racial inequality within the criminal justice system
- Just Mercy, a film based on civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s work on death row in Alabama
- Twelve Years a Slave, 2013 biographical period-drama and adaptation of the 1858 slave memoir by Solomon Northrup, a born free African-American man, kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Resources for BIPOC
- Therapy for Black Girls
- National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network
- Black Therapist Network
- Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective
- Inclusive Therapists (reduced fee)
- National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC Network
- The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (free)
- Latinx Therapy
- South Asian Mental Health Initiative & Network
- Asian Mental Health Project
- Midweek Motivational Moments: A 30-minute weekly offering from Faith Matters Network for reflection and conversation led by chaplains.
- Care Circle: Weekly song gatherings and podcast episodes from Irresistible (formerly the Healing Justice Podcast).
- 365 Days of Affirming Black Life and Amplifying Black Love: This list from Harriet’s Apothecary includes daily practices and rituals of compassion.
- The Nap Ministry: A womanist project that installs nap experiences and focuses on the spiritual practice of resting for liberation.
- Brown Girl Therapy: Promotes mental health resources for immigrants and undocumented families.
- Virtual Native Talking Circles: Online and bi-weekly support group for Native/Indigenous people.
- QTPOC Healing Space: Online support group for queer, trans, and intersex BIPOC.
- Decolonizing Therapy: Offerings from Dr. Jennifer Mullan including videos, podcasts, newsletters, and individual coaching sessions.
- Healing In Action: A toolkit on organizing healing actions from Black Lives Matter.
Resources for white people
Support Community Organizers
- Atlanta Solidarity Fund
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- Black Visions Trans and Queer Collective
- MN Healing Justice Network/Spiral Collective
- Louisville Community Bail Fund
- The Bail Project (national)
- Embracerace : www.embracerace.org/resources/26-childrens-books-to-support-conversations-on-race-racism-resistance?
- UCC Webinar Recording: “The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery”. See the UCC website.
- Good video of Dr. James Cone talking about the writing of the book “The Cross and the Lynching Tree”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htj59Cup7Jg&t=3393s
- Podcasts by Nicole Hannah-Jones about: the” New York Times 1619 Project” commemorating the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery.
- The Association of United Church Educators: https://www.auce-ucc.org/anti-racism-for-households