Seeking Racial Justice, Part 1: Christians Listening
A Four-Week ZOOM Series:
Saturdays, June 27, July 11, 18, 25, 6:30-8:30pm
Co-Led by Jennifer Brown, Shancia Jarrett, and Michele Sigg
Organizer: St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Haven (400 Humphrey St.)
One Saturday in early May, members of St. John’s started to sense a “troubling of the waters” during the discussion of a documentary on revival and renewal in Fiji. There, unified Christians had come together in humility and repentance to pray for deliverance from evil. God had responded and healed their land. During the discussion that evening, one person spoke of her pain at racial injustice after the death of Ahmaud Arbery. Another felt convicted of her family’s sin of white supremacy and left that week on a pilgrimage of repentance to pray over former slave trading sites from Virginia to Georgia. This series was born out of those troubled waters and out of a desire to seek God’s face.
Series Description: “Seeking Racial Justice, Part 1: Christians Listening” is a 4-week film and discussion series over Zoom that will explore the roots of institutional racism in American society and the church, racial trauma, and Black Christian identity from the perspective of our responsibility as Christian brothers and sisters. The four sessions (details) will cover the following topics:
Week 1 (6/27): Systemic racism in the US: Historic Roots and Generational Trauma
Week 2 (7/11): Examining Racism in the American Church
Week 3 (7/18): Ancient African Christianity and Black Christian Identity
Week 4 (7/25): The Politics and Socio-Economics of Racism
Participant Covenant: We ask that all who attend prayerfully agree to the following:
“I will strive to open myself to learning by (1) listening first, (2) showing respect at all times in word and attitude, (3) asking honest questions, and (4) exercising humility when I speak.”
Goals. It is our hope that participants will
- Courageously and honestly engage with the materials and with each other
- Become aware of the core issues at the root of American racism
- Confront erroneous understandings of the Bible and in the church
- Gain a deeper understanding of white supremacy
- Grow in compassion and empathy for the suffering of all victims of racism.
Meet the Co-leaders:
- Jennifer Brown is library assistant at Gateway Community College Library in New Haven and an amazing resource guru. Her views on race are heavily influenced by the writings of intellectuals like Frantz Fanon, Richard Wright, Stokely Carmichael, and James Baldwin, tempered by the love of Christ.
- Shancia Jarrett gets her natural charisma from her Afro-Caribbean heritage. She is a candidate for Holy Orders to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church and she serves as an Affordable Housing consultant for the city of New Haven.
- Michele Sigg, PhD trained in the study of World Christianity and African Christianity at Boston University. She is Associate Director of the online resource Dictionary of African Christian Biography (www.DACB.org) that seeks to restore the history of Africans who spread Christianity across Africa.