Collaborative Bridge Builders

Tuesday, 29 August 2017, 13:48 | Category : Events, Racial Justice, Reconciliation Reflections
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Grace and Race Ministries, Inc. and Colesville United Methodist Church, in Silver Spring, Maryland, will be hosting a discussion with Dr. F. Willis Johnson, author of Holding up Your Corner: Talking About Race in Your Community. We will explore ways people of faith can work together to promote social justice and racial understanding. Please contact bgirtonm@graceandrace.org by September 2, 2017 if you are interested in more information.

RACIAL AWARENESS AND MINDFULNESS: MINI FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS, AWARENESS & HEALING

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 21:27 | Category : Cultural Diversity, Event Registration, Events, Racial Justice
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Grace and Race Ministries, Inc. is pleased to share this  announcement of an upcoming event to promote Racial Awareness and help equip those who desire to become actively engaged in anti-racism efforts to help heal our nation. This Festival will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 10 am – 5pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I Street SW, Washington, DC.

Racial Awareness 2017:  A Mini-Festival of the Arts, Awareness, and Healing intends to help people of goodwill reflect on the remaining reality of racism in our society through media, rhythm, and practical exposure through experiential workshops in both African-American and white caucuses, as well as multiracial spaces, opening awareness of privilege and supremacy, and healing years of unresolved trauma.

This festival is not for those who wish to gather information without an urgent need to change! Americans continue to debate the shape and extent of racism in society. Yet shootings of unarmed African-Americans, disproportional incarceration and poverty rates, and a continuing list of disparities remind us as the Church and as citizens that the U.S. must continue to press ahead with addressing issues of racism and white supremacy. Politicians are promoting bigoted ideas and organizations. Many whites have watched the crisis unfold and have said, “I didn’t know that was still happening… What can I do?” Because so many people remain to be reached, we are organizing a second Racial Awareness Festival in 2017. Our long-term goal is to make this an annual event with festivals addressing racial awareness and healing nationwide.  Month by month, interest grows in the project.

http://racialawareness2017.eventbrite.com

 

Realizing the Civil Rights Dream

Thursday, 28 September 2017, 8:38 | Category : Cultural Diversity, Events, Racial Justice
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Hey Grace and Race Friends,

In case you missed it, our friend Ken Bedell has a newly released book Realizing the Civil Rights Dream: Diagnosing and Treating American Racism. Join us on October 8 as we celebrate Ken and participate in a workshop led by Rev. Brenda Maria Girton-Mitchell, Grace and Race Ministries, Inc.

Realizing the Civil Rights Dream explains how America can realize the civil rights dream in the 21st century – if U.S. citizens take actions as individuals as well as work together for full participation of all.

This is an open invitation, so please share with your friends. We look forward to welcoming you to Robert’s Memorial United Church on October 8! Please RSVP by Friday, October 6.

More information about Ken’s book can be found online here: http://www.civilrightsdream.com/about-bookhttp://evite.me/y3Sr9mYXMY

When They Go Low, We Go High

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

By Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell

A few months ago I had a conversation with a young woman who asked me to explain the word “grace” as used in the name of Grace and Race Ministries, Inc. She acknowledged hearing the word in church and using it at home in the context of the brief prayer before a meal. But, what does “grace” mean as a practical matter for an individual in the midst of racial animosity?

I began by stringing together a few of the often-heard standard definitions and explanations of the word grace:

• Grace is the unmerited favor of God.
• Grace and mercy go together as God’s action toward us.
• Grace is getting what you don’t deserve and mercy is not getting what you do deserve from God.
• Because we are God’s children, we strive to model God’s ways toward others.
• We have received grace and, therefore, must become agents of grace…

We will not all show grace in the same manner. There may not be many of us who are committed to turning the other cheek, as Jesus taught, when subjected to racist behavior. Some people may utter a prayer or give a look of disapproval and walk away- refusing to dignify the action and ignorance with a spoken reply. Some people may take a deep breath and then offer a response without the use of profane and inflammatory language. Other people may start justice movements to disrupt racism.  The options for grace are limited only by human frailties. But for Christian believers, showing grace to others is accepting the challenge to demonstrate a Christ-like response, even if the person does not deserve it. This does not negate the fact that there are times when we must push back and correct improper language and behavior but God gets the glory from our lives when we can respond to racial hate speech and actions without an “eye-for-an-eye” or “tooth-for-a-tooth” hostile mentality. It’s hard. But that’s grace from our mere mortal perspective.

On July 26, 2017 Michelle Obama made a speech including remarks about her experience as America’s first black first lady. She expressed her awareness of the reality “that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.” She referenced the numerous racist attacks and insults she faced while President Barack Obama was in office.

Remembering her life in that role reminded me of an easier, practical way to define grace, especially in the midst of racial animosity – “When they go low, we go high.” I offer heartfelt thanks to Michelle Obama for the profound wisdom in those words.

That is grace.

Confronting Racism in the Church with Drew Hart

Friday, 30 June 2017, 17:37 | Category : Event Registration, Events, Racial Justice
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by The Potter’s House, Soteria Community School

In his provocative book “Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism,” theologian and blogger Drew G. I. Hart places police brutality, mass incarceration, anti black stereotypes, poverty, and everyday acts of racism within the larger framework of white supremacy. On July 22nd, Drew will be at the Festival Center to guide attendees through the often difficult conversation of confronting racism within our own churches. Always leading toward Jesus, Hart will offered concrete practices for churches that seek solidarity with the oppressed and are committed to racial justice.

This will be a phenomenal event with practical advice for small group leaders who are hoping to facilitate conversation, clergy who are continuing this conversation within their congregations, and any community member who wants to know more about how they might be an active participant in confronting racism head on within their worshipping or living communities.

*Light refreshments will be served at this event, doors open at 12:30 pm.*

DATE AND TIME

Sat, July 22, 2017
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

LOCATION
Festival Center
1640 Columbia Road Northwest
Washington, DC 20009

REGISTER