Shootings of unarmed African-Americans in cities and towns across the country, and other atrocities against people of color of all socio-economic backgrounds, our current political climate, and our increasing xenophobia have awakened us to the fact that we must no longer allow issues of racism and white supremacy to go unaddressed. Many white people have watched the crisis unfold and have said, "I didn't know that was still happening. What can I do?", while many black people are re-traumatized by each event that devalues black lives. We must expose the lie of our being in a "post-racial" America. Our recent Racial Awareness and Mindfulness 2016: A Mini-Festival of the Arts, Awareness, and Healing, held on Saturday, October 15, 2016, featuring DC Black Lives Matter Co-Director and CEO of Unchained, LLC, Erika Totten, and filmmaker, Katrina Browne, producer of "Traces of the Trade," an acclaimed PBS documentary, is continuing with an unfolding of the way forward. We intend to continue efforts to help people of good will reflect on the remaining reality of racism in our society through the arts, practical approaches to addressing the reality of race and privilege and its systemic effects through experiential workshops, talks, spiritual practices, and healing modalities--all of which we hope will lead to next steps in addressing problems of race and violence in our communities, our workplaces, and our world. We will gather together all who are interested in continuing the effort to raise awareness and to support the struggle for both healing and restoration. All of these methods offer opportunities for people in our region to explore the reality of racism from a new perspective.
We hope faith-based institutions, organizations, and individuals will be more self-reflective regarding the impact of racism on their lives and the lives of "the other," and we hope they will be inspired to join anti-racism organizations, to have their faith-based institutions and other organizations partner with others across the racial divide, and/or to continue to engage with the participants they met through this festival movement, doing the work of awakening to our current situation and having that work lead to positive action, first in ourselves and then in our communities and the world. This MeetUp is an opportunity to sign up to continue this work. We will meet monthly.
Sponsors to date include: Amidon-Bowen Elementary School, Black Presbyterians United, Black Women for Positive Change, Church of the Pilgrims DC, Faith in Public Life, Howard University School of Divinity, Iona DC, NEXTChurch (PCUSA), PCUSA Office of Public Witness, Spiritual Directors of Color Network, Ltd., The National Capital Presbytery Source, Urban Ministries Network, Westminster Presbyterian Church DC, and others