By Pam Wadsworth
I feel immense gratitude that People’s Church made it possible for me to attend the 2.5 day ERRACE anti-racism workshop last week. I found the workshop illuminating and useful. Before I participated in the workshop, I felt powerless against the many ways in which racism harms not only people of color, but all of us. In the workshop, I learned the ways in which the cultural construct of race was created and how it continues to be reinforced and supported by our culture. I found one of the most meaningful exercises was one in which individuals who identify as white openly discussed the benefits we derive from being a part of this privileged group. These benefits ranged from relatively simple ones, like shopping without being followed, to not having to worry that my children would be shot 16 times in the back while walking away from a policeperson. Becoming conscious of these previously unexamined privileges and assumptions is key to fighting racism. This workshop gave me tools that I can use to eliminate my own complicity with racism. In addition, this workshop facilitated a discussion amongst some People’s Church members where we were able to discuss ways in which we can work toward becoming an anti-racist congregation.