RACISM IN AMERICA

Continually Learning: Our commitment is to the process of maturity, not the mastery of prescribed doctrine. We believe the church is at its best when intellectual integrity is welcomed not feared.

As a community called by Christ to embody peace, justice and love in our world, it is incumbent upon us to hear the voices of those who have been marginalized and oppressed, and to act to overcome the forces of that oppression. For decades the black community in America has been raising the alarm about the endurance of systemic racism in our society, and, tragically, many of us have far too slow to respond. That must end. And we at Canvas are committed to the long road of change that lies ahead.

And while we know that action is required, we also hear the call of those who have suffered to begin with our own labors of learning and reflection. We must listen to the unheard voices and take upon ourselves the burden of our initial education, not placing that duty on those who already face the uphill battle for justice.

And while we know that action is required, we also hear the call of those who have suffered to begin with our own labors of learning and reflection. We must listen to the unheard voices and take upon ourselves the burden of our initial education, not placing that duty on those who already face the uphill battle for justice.

What follows are collections of resources we have gathered to begin the learning process and to engage in dialogue and reflection. These collections, and the individual sessions of which they are comprised, are hardly a comprehensive or authoritative list! Nor do we endorse every claim or call to action. Rather, this is our best effort in the moment to curate resources that can open us to new perspectives and provide insight into areas of our world that are not familiar to us. Our goal – and a core value of Canvas – is learning. And as we learn, we will endeavor to discern where each of us, and Canvas as a community, is called to act on Christ’s behalf. 

 

We encourage you to join with us as a learning community by joining our dedicated Facebook Group!

 

And know that you are welcome to share any of these resources with any person or group you imagine might benefit from them. 

Collection 1: Racism in America

This 4-week series was our first step into an understanding of systemic racism in America, and was intended to provide us an overview of the problem. We began with a look at the reality of racism in the 21st century and then moved through the history of racism in American from the first settlers, through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, to where we might go from here. Each weekly session contains a variety of suggested materials and media and culminated in a large group conversation. If you seek a broad understanding of what is meant by “systemic racism” this is an excellent place to start.

Collection 2: Systems of Racism

In this 4-part session series we move from an overview of racism in America to a deeper look at some of the key systems of which it is comprised. In particular, we look at the systems of: church, education, criminal justice and the economy, and how each plays an historical and enduring role in racial oppression. Each 2-week session follows the basic format of Collection 1, offering a collection of books, articles, podcasts, movies and other medial meant to further our engagement and spark conversation. If you are ready to look more closely at some of the specific mechanisms that contribute to a culture of oppression, this is one good place to start.