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White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility

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A Study Group Co-Sponsored by Briarwood Leadership Center and the Public Witness Team of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod, ELCA

American forms of racism shape our life together in ELCA congregations. White supremacy distorts our proclamation of the Gospel, limiting the possibilities of evangelism. Lay and rostered congregational leaders interested in facing these realities are invited to join this study group co-organized by Briarwood Leadership Center and the Public Witness Team of NT-NL Synod.

With an eye toward taking meaningful action, we will work through some of the most incisive analytical studies of racism. We will focus on structural realities rather than individual attitudes or personal experience. Equipped by this intensive study, the group will decide what actions they will take in their own congregations and which actions will be recommended to the NT-NL Synod as a whole.

Led by Emma Rodgers (St. John, Dallas) and Robert Smith (Briarwood Leadership Center), the course will feature several outside guest speakers with expertise in the topics and particular authors. The proposed agenda is listed below. All readings will be provided in electronic format, with encouragement toward additional resources.

Sessions are on Tuesday evenings, biweekly, 7-8:30pm. Pre-registration is required in order to receive the Zoom link. All participants are strongly encouraged to complete the assigned reading prior to participating in a session.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwvf-Cvpz8tGNOiuDyWHhZGAguSPKrdNp3X. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

May 11
Introduction and Concepts

May 25
Selections from Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

June 8
Derrick Bell, “Chronicle of the Constitutional Contradiction”

June 22
Selections from Bernestine Singley, ed., When Race Becomes Real: Black and White Writers Confront Their Personal Histories

July 6
Derrick Bell, “The Space Traders”

July 20
Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex”

August 3
Enrique Dussel, “Eurocentrism and Modernity”

August 17
Vine Deloria, Jr., “A Better Day for Indians”

August 31
Ian F. Haney López, “White by Law”

September 14
Karen Brodkin Sacks, “How Did Jews Become White Folks?”

September 28
Susannah Heschel, “The Slippery Yet Tenacious Nature of Racism”

October 12
Cornel West, “A Genealogy of Modern Racism”