Dismantling Racism Working Group

Mission and Goals

The Dismantling Racism Working Group is dedicated to raising awareness of the effects of racism in ourselves, our systems, and our society, and discerning how we are called to build the Beloved Community, based on love, justice, and equal opportunity for all.

We encourage exploration of these resources:

Some Resources on Dismantling Racism 

Events:

Attending events such as the following can be helpful to learn more about the effects of systemic racism:

Theatre:

  • Pillsbury House Theater presents Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot, May 17 – June 16, a parable of two brothers who share a one-room shack near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Equally important today as it was at the time of its 1961 premiere, Blood Knot is a poignant, piercing metaphor for racial tension, powerfully acted by James A. Williams and Stephen Yoakam.

 

Book suggestions:

  • Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler.  Described as a dystopian novel about the future (and one that has already begun to come true), Octavia Butler notes that she wrote about humanity:  “All struggles are essentially power struggles.  Who will rule?  Who will lead?  Who will define, refine, confine, design?”  The characters, particularly Lauren, the lead character, give us examples of how to discern and respond to the callings in our lives, especially when we are disoriented. Events related to Octavia Butler’s book, Parable of the Sower at St. Catherine University.  See also website for the upcoming opera based on the book.
  • Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race and Being, by M. Shawn Copeland.  A powerful book that asks us to consider the Body of Christ from the perspective of where Christ lived: among marginalized people.  Dr. Copeland records the voices of African American women after their enslavement, bringing to life their dehumanizing experiences.  Dr. Copeland’s book is a call for Christians to take Eucharistic Solidarity seriously, to turn toward each other and transformation.
  • “Dear White American” by Professor George Yancy (https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/dear-white-america/) Even though Professor Yancy’s December 2015 article was written with compassion and care, in turn he has received death threats and agonizingly vile responses.  In 2018, Professor Yancy published a book, Backlash, which discusses those responses and the critical need for those of us who are silent and complicit in the ongoing racist systems to dismantle racism.
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson:   Louise Erdrich’s blog on the Birchbark Books website discusses the book.  https://birchbarkbooks.com/blog/white-rage   
  • My Grandmother’s Hands — Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem
  • White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo

 

Website Resources:

 

Exhibits:


Video and Audio
:

 

For more information contact Marty Roers at mroers@csjstpaul.org.