The Christian Call to Racial Justice: What Can I do?

We’ve seen the news of protests, we’ve seen the gruesome videos of black people being killed by other citizens and police, we’ve heard the cries of mothers losing their children too soon. What are we called to do as Christians? First Presbyterian Church Burlington is a Matthew 25 church, meaning we are committed to working towards a more equitable community; of course this is the work Jesus has always called us to do! But WHAT NOW? One next step you can take is the “21 Day Challenge”, a way for us to learn and grow and act, working towards the vision of equity that Jesus promoted. We have embarked on this daily challenge together, and will gather again on Sunday, July 12 at 4:00 p.m. to reflect on our progress.

There are several sources for “21 Day Challenges”. We will be using materials available on Debby Irving’s website (https://debbyirving.com/21-day-challenge/). Debby Irving is the author of Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race, a book read and studied in churches across the PCUSA.

Here are ideas for the next ten days of the 21:

The FPC Racial Justice Task Force invites you to…

For Monday, June 15 — Visit Debby Irving’s homepage for the 21 day challenge  (https://debbyirving.com/21-day-challenge/).

 

For Tuesday, June 16 —Visit the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture “Talking About Race” portal: https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race

 

For Wednesday, June 17 — Explore information about Debby Irving’s book, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race (https://debbyirving.com/the-book/)

 

For Thursday, June 18 — Read about the Juneteenth Holiday https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

 

For Friday, June 19 — Watch Just Mercyhttps://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-watch-just-mercy-free-streaming-rental and read about Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy, https://justmercy.eji.org and the work of the Equal Justice Initiative https://eji.org

 

For Saturday, June 20 — Explore Scene on Radio podcast– Seeing White series. This informative podcast of 14 episodes looks at how we got to where we are now with race in America.

 

For Sunday, June 21 — Read this article from YES Magazine about white privilege: https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2017/09/08/my-white-friend-asked-me-on-facebook-to-explain-white-privilege-i-decided-to-be-honest

 

For Monday, June 22 — Read this article from Fr. Bryan N. Massingale, The Assumptions of White Privilege and What We Can Do About It – https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/assumptions-white-privilege-and-what-we-can-do-about-it

 

For Tuesday, June 23 — Watch this TED talk by Travis Jones, Bad White People, https://youtu.be/O9muRHgp1NI

 

For Wednesday, June 24 — Explore 17 Books About Racial Inequality for Young Readers

 

For Thursday, June 25 — Watch Dr. Robin DiAngelo Wants White People to Stop Saying They’re Not Racist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZfiSjTHVqA

 

For Friday, June 26 — Read Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop, by Officer A. Cab: https://medium.com/@OfcrACab/confessions-of-a-former-bastard-cop-bb14d17bc759

 

For Saturday, June 27 — Watch Kimberly Jones (How we can win): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb9_qGOa9Go&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0zzInh_k0DAMAQ5O30YqF655-997unADc0J-zz7AyklyANOsgVgDYNPA4 (Include a warning for language)

 

For Sunday, June 28 — Read Speak Up: Tips for Responding to Everyday Bigotry from the Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/20150125/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry#everyday-bigotry

 

For Monday, June 29 — Read The Chronic Stress of Being Black in the US Makes People More Vulnerable to COVID-19 and Other Diseases from YES Magazine:

https://www.yesmagazine.org/social-justice/2020/06/23/coronavirus-racism-public-health/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=YESDaily_20200624&utm_content=YESDaily_20200624+CID_652949c57539b279bd680172c628bf00&utm_source=CM

 

For Tuesday, June 30  — Watch Oprah’s Two Part Presentation on Where Do We Go From Here? Part 1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09ysfL2SlHo&app=desktop) and Part 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jy6LpivqIM&app=desktop)

 

For Wednesday, July 1Why are so many white Christians suddenly standing up for racial justice? | The Christian Century

For Thursday, July 2Truth-Telling Leads to Racial Healing, Studies of Other Countries Show – Yes! Magazine

https://www.yesmagazine.org/social-justice/2020/06/29/racial-healing-reparations-truth-reconciliation

 

Additionally, we invite the entire church congregation to view  Just Mercy, the recent movie about lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s work in Alabama to bring justice for wrongly convicted people from death row. The movie is streaming for free on many platforms this month to help raise awareness about racial injustice. We have chosen June 19 as the date for us to collectively watch (while socially distanced in our own homes) this movie together because that date is the celebration of Juneteenth. This holiday commemorates June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers brought word to enslaved Texans that they were now free; learn more about the history of this date here. Then on Sunday,  June 21 at 4:00 p.m. we will have a discussion of the movie via Zoom.

Please join us for this important, challenging, and powerful work.

FPC Racial Justice Task Force

During the FPC Racial Justice Task Force 21 Day Challenge, we would like to hear from you. If you have a question, are trying to locate a resource about a specific topic or just want to discuss something you have read or reviewed, please get in touch. Please provide the following and one of our task force members will be in touch.