I am currently participating in Doing Our Own Work, an anti-racism training for white people. This training is designed to aid white people in doing our own work of educating ourselves, holding each other accountable and practicing the skills of interrupting racism as we seek to become more effective anti-racist allies.
Working with twenty other participants, we spent the first two days of this training steeped in examining the history of racism in this country and examining the many challenges of dismantling the white supremacist culture in which we are all steeped. I am reminded once again of the insidiousness of this oppressive system and the vital importance of this work.
For the first time, the national White Privilege Conference will be held in Grand Rapids this April. Participation in this conference can provide a valuable opportunity to learn, grow and change. This year’s theme is Understanding, Respecting and Connecting and the aim is to provide a challenging, collaborative and comprehensive experience designed to empower and equip individuals to work for equity and justice through self and social transformations.
They also have specific Youth Institute and Youth Action Project which strives for these outcomes:
- Students will SEE and be fully aware of the multiple manifestations of white supremacy, white privilege, and other forms of oppression.
- Students will have the courage and confidence to NAME white supremacy, white privilege, and other forms of oppression.
- Students will ACT by taking effective, creative, and urgent measures to dismantle white supremacy, white privilege, and other forms of oppression.
- Students will PROCEED as leaders, planting ongoing seeds of change
If you or your teen have any interest in participating in this excellent conference please check out the link below. Nadine Godin-Nassaney and Carolyn Heineman can answer any questions you may have.
May we work together to build a beloved community of peace, justice and love that values all members equally.
Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director
White Privilege Conference
April 4-7, 2018, Grand Rapids, MI
Middle School Students (Grades 6-8)
Wednesday, April 4th
A basic 1 Day Exploration of White Privilege, and an introduction to tools for dismantling “-isms” associated with White Supremacy.
High School Students (Grades 9-12)
Wednesday, April 4th
1-Day Exploration of White Privilege, manifestations of white supremacy, and an introduction to tools for dismantling “-isms” associated with White Supremacy. Youth will create their own methods to address white privilege in their schools and communities and engage in engaging dialogue.
Youth Action Project
3-Day Conference for High School (Grades 9-12)
Students will experience a more in-depth and internal reflection of white privilege. Students will work to connect their individual experiences to their enhanced analysis of how systems of institutional racism operate within the United States of America through:
- Leadership Activities
- Mastery of key terms: white supremacy, white privilege, oppression, ally, racism
- Ethnic affinity groups
- Youth friendly film viewing with adult allies
- Individual and group reflection
- Regional action planning
- Youth led dialogue
- Arts based break-outs
Family Fun Night
Friday, March 2nd, 6:00-8:30 PM
People’s Church Commons
All ages are invited to bring a potluck dish to pass and your favorite board game to join in this evening of fellowship.
The Religious Education Committee is excited to be hosting this fun night designed to help people make connections and have fun together. Sign up in the foyer if you plan to come.