1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:02,750 2 00:00:02,750 --> 00:00:04,480 Pat Kahn: OK, we are now recording. 3 00:00:04,480 --> 00:00:07,140 So hello to everybody, once again. 4 00:00:07,140 --> 00:00:11,250 Welcome to the Faith Development Office February Webinar 5 00:00:11,250 --> 00:00:13,940 called Naming Race. 6 00:00:13,940 --> 00:00:16,530 Our presenters and panelists today 7 00:00:16,530 --> 00:00:22,120 include-- and if you would wave when I say your name-- Reverend 8 00:00:22,120 --> 00:00:27,100 Elizabeth Nguyen who is the UUA Office of Youth and Young Adult 9 00:00:27,100 --> 00:00:29,770 Ministries, and our panelists include 10 00:00:29,770 --> 00:00:32,229 Lauren Wyeth, from the First Universalist 11 00:00:32,229 --> 00:00:36,100 Church in Minneapolis, Jamil Scott, 12 00:00:36,100 --> 00:00:40,650 who is out at First Unitarian Society of Denver, 13 00:00:40,650 --> 00:00:43,790 Sheila Schuh, who is up at First Unitarian 14 00:00:43,790 --> 00:00:48,810 in Rochester, New York, and Kirsten Hunter who is 15 00:00:48,810 --> 00:00:51,060 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 16 00:00:51,060 --> 00:00:53,380 And I guess I should have said, I'm Pat Kahn, 17 00:00:53,380 --> 00:00:55,010 I'm in the Faith Development Office. 18 00:00:55,010 --> 00:00:57,930 I'm off-site staff, calling from Atlanta, Georgia, 19 00:00:57,930 --> 00:01:02,310 and person that you first saw is Susan Lawrence, who is also 20 00:01:02,310 --> 00:01:04,970 our Managing Editor of the Faith Development Office 21 00:01:04,970 --> 00:01:08,410 and she'll be doing tech behind the scenes. 22 00:01:08,410 --> 00:01:10,300 We are going to get started, and I'm 23 00:01:10,300 --> 00:01:14,740 going to also turn my camera off so you're focused 24 00:01:14,740 --> 00:01:16,890 on all the important people. 25 00:01:16,890 --> 00:01:19,614 And here you go, Elizabeth. 26 00:01:19,614 --> 00:01:20,780 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you. 27 00:01:20,780 --> 00:01:23,310 Well, I just want to say, welcome again 28 00:01:23,310 --> 00:01:27,170 to this conversation and I wanna start with some words 29 00:01:27,170 --> 00:01:29,150 by the Reverend Mal Hoover, who's 30 00:01:29,150 --> 00:01:31,860 been doing racial justice and racial identity 31 00:01:31,860 --> 00:01:35,450 work in our movement for many years. 32 00:01:35,450 --> 00:01:38,480 "We can dare to face ourselves in our entirety, 33 00:01:38,480 --> 00:01:42,050 to understand our pain, to feel the tears, 34 00:01:42,050 --> 00:01:45,120 to listen to our frustration and confusion, 35 00:01:45,120 --> 00:01:48,710 and to discover new capacities and capabilities that 36 00:01:48,710 --> 00:01:52,730 will empower and transform us." 37 00:01:52,730 --> 00:01:55,870 So I'm going to hope I can stay with you by video, 38 00:01:55,870 --> 00:01:59,985 but if my connection gets choppy I'll just switch to audio, 39 00:01:59,985 --> 00:02:01,620 just so folks know. 40 00:02:01,620 --> 00:02:04,930 And I want to begin by thanking the folks in the Faith 41 00:02:04,930 --> 00:02:08,090 Development Office and these amazing religious educator 42 00:02:08,090 --> 00:02:11,600 colleagues, panelists who are with us today. 43 00:02:11,600 --> 00:02:16,230 I'm just really excited for the conversation and the story 44 00:02:16,230 --> 00:02:18,810 sharing that will be happening. 45 00:02:18,810 --> 00:02:20,450 I want to share some of the goals 46 00:02:20,450 --> 00:02:23,930 and framing that I'm bringing to this conversation. 47 00:02:23,930 --> 00:02:27,280 To me, this webinar is building upon conversations 48 00:02:27,280 --> 00:02:31,500 that have been happening in our movement for decades about how 49 00:02:31,500 --> 00:02:34,300 we bring racial identity exploration 50 00:02:34,300 --> 00:02:37,620 into our spiritual work, our faith formation, and also 51 00:02:37,620 --> 00:02:42,510 the role of religious educators as racial justice leaders. 52 00:02:42,510 --> 00:02:46,550 And this particular conversation comes out of what many of us 53 00:02:46,550 --> 00:02:49,350 were hearing in terms of the fear 54 00:02:49,350 --> 00:02:54,090 that folks sometimes have around naming race, and particularly 55 00:02:54,090 --> 00:02:56,990 white folks's fear of messing up, 56 00:02:56,990 --> 00:03:01,700 of stumbling, of not being that perfect white ally, 57 00:03:01,700 --> 00:03:06,250 and how to sit with the unknown and the messiness of this work. 58 00:03:06,250 --> 00:03:08,750 In particular, to explicitly name 59 00:03:08,750 --> 00:03:10,530 race in religious education. 60 00:03:10,530 --> 00:03:15,350 We know that race and racism are shaping our whole world and all 61 00:03:15,350 --> 00:03:18,360 of our identities but it is kind of 62 00:03:18,360 --> 00:03:22,360 cultural in terms of our dominant white culture 63 00:03:22,360 --> 00:03:25,440 to name that explicitly. 64 00:03:25,440 --> 00:03:29,060 And also, hearing about a fear about, 65 00:03:29,060 --> 00:03:31,410 how do we name difference, particularly 66 00:03:31,410 --> 00:03:34,740 for youth and young adults and children of color 67 00:03:34,740 --> 00:03:40,340 in our movement, in a way that is affirmative and celebratory 68 00:03:40,340 --> 00:03:42,680 and doesn't contribute to separation 69 00:03:42,680 --> 00:03:45,120 but rather celebrates someone's identity 70 00:03:45,120 --> 00:03:49,310 as a youth or young adult or children of color who's UU. 71 00:03:49,310 --> 00:03:53,550 So all of that is kind of in the water and for me, 72 00:03:53,550 --> 00:03:55,510 authentic, vulnerable storytelling 73 00:03:55,510 --> 00:03:57,820 is one of the main ways that we can move forward 74 00:03:57,820 --> 00:04:00,160 from the moment where we're at, and so that's 75 00:04:00,160 --> 00:04:02,420 what brings us to this place. 76 00:04:02,420 --> 00:04:04,460 So here are a few goals that I just 77 00:04:04,460 --> 00:04:06,320 want to share for our time. 78 00:04:06,320 --> 00:04:10,430 That we model vulnerability for ourselves and each other, 79 00:04:10,430 --> 00:04:14,030 that we affirm the complexity of racial justice work, 80 00:04:14,030 --> 00:04:18,860 that we celebrate risk, and that we share insights and wisdom. 81 00:04:18,860 --> 00:04:21,300 So to that end, the structure for time 82 00:04:21,300 --> 00:04:22,990 will be that panelists will share 83 00:04:22,990 --> 00:04:25,885 some real vulnerable stories of naming race 84 00:04:25,885 --> 00:04:28,410 in religious education, and then we'll 85 00:04:28,410 --> 00:04:30,790 have some time for people to share 86 00:04:30,790 --> 00:04:33,530 what resonates with them, to ask questions, 87 00:04:33,530 --> 00:04:37,150 and to do brief storytelling of their own if they'd like. 88 00:04:37,150 --> 00:04:40,960 And I just a name that a webinar is a very odd format 89 00:04:40,960 --> 00:04:43,650 for vulnerable, authentic conversations. 90 00:04:43,650 --> 00:04:46,250 We're either sitting in front of our computers 91 00:04:46,250 --> 00:04:49,180 or we're in the car on the phone, 92 00:04:49,180 --> 00:04:52,250 and those of us who are sharing personal stories 93 00:04:52,250 --> 00:04:54,690 are speaking kind of into the void. 94 00:04:54,690 --> 00:04:58,210 So I just invite us, as much as we can, 95 00:04:58,210 --> 00:05:01,100 to honor that we're walking alongside each other, 96 00:05:01,100 --> 00:05:03,690 that we're doing this work together, 97 00:05:03,690 --> 00:05:06,900 and thank again the panelists for being willing to share 98 00:05:06,900 --> 00:05:10,170 their vulnerable story. 99 00:05:10,170 --> 00:05:13,460 So I also want to lift up that we're not 100 00:05:13,460 --> 00:05:16,570 doing this work in a vacuum, that our UU movement has 101 00:05:16,570 --> 00:05:19,350 covenanted-- these are words specifically 102 00:05:19,350 --> 00:05:23,170 from our global ends-- to work towards intentionally 103 00:05:23,170 --> 00:05:26,210 inclusive, multicultural communities, 104 00:05:26,210 --> 00:05:29,710 to partner to counter systems of power, privilege, 105 00:05:29,710 --> 00:05:30,910 and oppression. 106 00:05:30,910 --> 00:05:33,960 So I know when I get stuck, when I feel disheartened 107 00:05:33,960 --> 00:05:35,760 in this work, it's helpful for me 108 00:05:35,760 --> 00:05:41,370 to remember that we are all doing this together. 109 00:05:41,370 --> 00:05:44,140 And then, just because sitting with the unknown 110 00:05:44,140 --> 00:05:46,670 is such a big part of all spiritual work, 111 00:05:46,670 --> 00:05:49,620 but I think particularly important for racial justice 112 00:05:49,620 --> 00:05:54,280 work, I want to share these words by Wendell Berry. 113 00:05:54,280 --> 00:05:56,910 "It may be that when we no longer know what to do 114 00:05:56,910 --> 00:05:59,490 we have come to our real work, that when 115 00:05:59,490 --> 00:06:01,580 we no longer know which way to go 116 00:06:01,580 --> 00:06:03,990 we have come to our real journey. 117 00:06:03,990 --> 00:06:07,430 The mine that is not baffled is not employed. 118 00:06:07,430 --> 00:06:11,376 The impeded the stream is the one that sings." 119 00:06:11,376 --> 00:06:18,960 Words by Wendell Berry. 120 00:06:18,960 --> 00:06:21,570 And now, without further ado, we'll 121 00:06:21,570 --> 00:06:24,830 share some stories of naming race in religious education. 122 00:06:24,830 --> 00:06:28,080 And I've just asked some of my phenomenal colleagues 123 00:06:28,080 --> 00:06:31,000 to tell a little bit about what happened, 124 00:06:31,000 --> 00:06:33,460 any insights or lessons that they learned, 125 00:06:33,460 --> 00:06:36,550 best practices that they want to share, and then 126 00:06:36,550 --> 00:06:39,300 to reflect a little bit on how this has impacted 127 00:06:39,300 --> 00:06:41,420 their own identity because we know this work is 128 00:06:41,420 --> 00:06:45,720 about our own faith formation and spiritual path in addition 129 00:06:45,720 --> 00:06:50,030 to how we serve as religious educators, 130 00:06:50,030 --> 00:06:53,616 And now I'll introduce our first panelist, Lauren Wyeth, who 131 00:06:53,616 --> 00:06:55,550 is the Director of Children, Youth, and Family 132 00:06:55,550 --> 00:06:57,840 Ministries in Minneapolis, and she's 133 00:06:57,840 --> 00:07:00,340 going to share a story of leadership 134 00:07:00,340 --> 00:07:04,000 and answering the call. 135 00:07:04,000 --> 00:07:05,230 Lauren. 136 00:07:05,230 --> 00:07:07,110 Lauren Wyeth: Thanks, Elizabeth. 137 00:07:07,110 --> 00:07:11,770 So I'm in a congregation that has about 900 members and about 138 00:07:11,770 --> 00:07:17,180 480 children and youth enrolled in religious education. 139 00:07:17,180 --> 00:07:20,300 And I'm fortunate to be at a church 140 00:07:20,300 --> 00:07:22,050 with a strong ministerial team that's 141 00:07:22,050 --> 00:07:25,440 made anti-racism and deconstructing 142 00:07:25,440 --> 00:07:29,310 whiteness and working for racial justice, a thread 143 00:07:29,310 --> 00:07:34,170 that we touch on every time we gather. 144 00:07:34,170 --> 00:07:37,800 And so it became clear, as the director 145 00:07:37,800 --> 00:07:39,570 of our religious education program, 146 00:07:39,570 --> 00:07:44,670 that we needed to do some more focused conversations 147 00:07:44,670 --> 00:07:48,090 around race and racial justice with our children and youth, 148 00:07:48,090 --> 00:07:53,790 and that it was going to require us to-- me, specifically 149 00:07:53,790 --> 00:07:57,410 and us, in general-- to do some work to really enhance 150 00:07:57,410 --> 00:08:01,170 our curriculum. 151 00:08:01,170 --> 00:08:04,970 I was also fortunate that our church put together 152 00:08:04,970 --> 00:08:07,430 a training for congregants and staff 153 00:08:07,430 --> 00:08:10,400 to go through that was a 24 hour training that helped embolden 154 00:08:10,400 --> 00:08:14,500 me to face this work. 155 00:08:14,500 --> 00:08:16,500 And I want to tell just a couple of stories 156 00:08:16,500 --> 00:08:19,640 about things happened along the way-- one that was a success 157 00:08:19,640 --> 00:08:23,000 and one that was not, and the success was longer ago 158 00:08:23,000 --> 00:08:25,580 than the not success, which was more recent because that's 159 00:08:25,580 --> 00:08:27,060 how this work has been for me. 160 00:08:27,060 --> 00:08:29,960 Sometimes I feel like I'm doing it well, and sometimes I'm not, 161 00:08:29,960 --> 00:08:32,789 and it's not a constant upward climb. 162 00:08:32,789 --> 00:08:38,200 So last summer, when the shootings happened 163 00:08:38,200 --> 00:08:42,950 at the Charleston AME Church, we were having summer 164 00:08:42,950 --> 00:08:46,070 religious education programming in larger groups 165 00:08:46,070 --> 00:08:48,860 than we normally have, so I had second through fifth graders 166 00:08:48,860 --> 00:08:51,660 that were coming to church the Sunday 167 00:08:51,660 --> 00:08:54,950 after that shooting happened, I think on a Wednesday, 168 00:08:54,950 --> 00:08:59,170 and I felt like it was really important for us to address 169 00:08:59,170 --> 00:09:02,990 what had happened, and I imagined that most of our kids 170 00:09:02,990 --> 00:09:05,530 would have heard about that shooting. 171 00:09:05,530 --> 00:09:09,290 I was fortunate to have a congregant who 172 00:09:09,290 --> 00:09:13,540 was part of a local group called the Million Artists Movement, 173 00:09:13,540 --> 00:09:15,560 or part of the local Million Artists Movement 174 00:09:15,560 --> 00:09:22,300 that works against oppression, and they had had a vigil, 175 00:09:22,300 --> 00:09:25,690 I think the night after that shooting, 176 00:09:25,690 --> 00:09:29,260 that had included an art project of making ribbons of hope that 177 00:09:29,260 --> 00:09:32,970 were then to be sent down to the church in Charleston. 178 00:09:32,970 --> 00:09:36,410 So I asked Susie to come in and read 179 00:09:36,410 --> 00:09:41,830 that activity with our second through fifth graders. 180 00:09:41,830 --> 00:09:43,960 I opened by asking them how many of them 181 00:09:43,960 --> 00:09:46,400 had heard about what had happened at the Charleston 182 00:09:46,400 --> 00:09:47,490 church. 183 00:09:47,490 --> 00:09:53,140 And there were probably 15 or 18 kids there, and only a few 184 00:09:53,140 --> 00:09:55,080 of them had heard about it. 185 00:09:55,080 --> 00:09:57,370 I had expected it to be more. 186 00:09:57,370 --> 00:10:00,130 All of the kids of color had heard about it. 187 00:10:00,130 --> 00:10:02,265 I think maybe there were two or three kids of color 188 00:10:02,265 --> 00:10:05,400 and maybe one white kids who had heard about it, 189 00:10:05,400 --> 00:10:09,650 so I was glad we were having the conversation. 190 00:10:09,650 --> 00:10:13,480 The kids paid attention the whole time. 191 00:10:13,480 --> 00:10:19,610 They were really clear that we were talking 192 00:10:19,610 --> 00:10:22,020 about real things that were happening in the world that 193 00:10:22,020 --> 00:10:27,710 mattered, and that we, as people at a church, 194 00:10:27,710 --> 00:10:30,840 had a response that was important to add 195 00:10:30,840 --> 00:10:35,300 to the chorus of responses by sending our messages of-- 196 00:10:35,300 --> 00:10:36,660 and hope. 197 00:10:36,660 --> 00:10:40,240 They felt, I think, like they were doing something important 198 00:10:40,240 --> 00:10:46,610 and there was indeed a feeling of-- it was a somber time, 199 00:10:46,610 --> 00:10:53,020 but also feeling of a powerful time, a really powerful time 200 00:10:53,020 --> 00:10:54,720 that I spent with those kids. 201 00:10:54,720 --> 00:10:57,070 I was really grateful for my congregant 202 00:10:57,070 --> 00:11:02,300 that came in and helped lead that activity. 203 00:11:02,300 --> 00:11:07,670 More recently, this last Doctor Martin Luther King Sunday, I 204 00:11:07,670 --> 00:11:10,470 was again with second through fifth graders, 205 00:11:10,470 --> 00:11:13,050 and a congregant came up with an activity for us 206 00:11:13,050 --> 00:11:15,510 to do where we each traced our hand 207 00:11:15,510 --> 00:11:18,570 and wrote something that we could do with our own two hands 208 00:11:18,570 --> 00:11:20,670 to change the world. 209 00:11:20,670 --> 00:11:22,720 The mistake I made-- it was not the first time 210 00:11:22,720 --> 00:11:24,870 I made this same mistake-- we didn't 211 00:11:24,870 --> 00:11:29,150 talk about race explicitly to start the conversation. 212 00:11:29,150 --> 00:11:31,410 And we got tons of hands with things 213 00:11:31,410 --> 00:11:34,940 about recycling and taking care of our friends, 214 00:11:34,940 --> 00:11:38,320 and taking care of animals, and all kinds of things 215 00:11:38,320 --> 00:11:41,830 that kids can do to change the world that really has nothing 216 00:11:41,830 --> 00:11:44,330 to do with race, racism, racial justice, 217 00:11:44,330 --> 00:11:47,580 and here it was Doctor Martin Luther King Jr Sunday. 218 00:11:47,580 --> 00:11:50,112 So again, a reminder to me that if we're 219 00:11:50,112 --> 00:11:51,570 going to talk about race, we've got 220 00:11:51,570 --> 00:11:54,970 to be the ones to start the conversation. 221 00:11:54,970 --> 00:12:01,080 Can't count on the kids to take the first step. 222 00:12:01,080 --> 00:12:03,280 So I think I'll stop there because I 223 00:12:03,280 --> 00:12:05,700 feel like-- am I right, Elizabeth-- 224 00:12:05,700 --> 00:12:09,860 that I'm about at time here? 225 00:12:09,860 --> 00:12:12,680 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you so much, Lauren. 226 00:12:12,680 --> 00:12:14,470 I really appreciate you sharing some 227 00:12:14,470 --> 00:12:18,260 of the resources that you created and some of the things 228 00:12:18,260 --> 00:12:22,620 that went well and some things that went less well. 229 00:12:22,620 --> 00:12:26,610 So now I'd like to introduce our next storyteller. 230 00:12:26,610 --> 00:12:29,620 Kirsten Hunter is the Director of Religious Education 231 00:12:29,620 --> 00:12:33,240 at South Church UU in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 232 00:12:33,240 --> 00:12:37,230 and she's going to share a story of vulnerability, of stumbling, 233 00:12:37,230 --> 00:12:41,340 and the opportunities that come with. 234 00:12:41,340 --> 00:12:45,030 And I think she's still with us even though I just 235 00:12:45,030 --> 00:12:47,815 saw her photo flash before me. 236 00:12:47,815 --> 00:12:49,040 There we go. 237 00:12:49,040 --> 00:12:54,480 Kirsten Hunter: Of course, you flash out as soon as you're up. 238 00:12:54,480 --> 00:12:56,160 Thank you. 239 00:12:56,160 --> 00:12:58,130 So my name is Kirsten Hunter and I 240 00:12:58,130 --> 00:13:01,740 am the Director of Religious Education at South Church 241 00:13:01,740 --> 00:13:03,710 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 242 00:13:03,710 --> 00:13:05,960 We have a congregation with about 200 children 243 00:13:05,960 --> 00:13:08,540 in our RE program. 244 00:13:08,540 --> 00:13:13,310 And my story-- I loved the words from Wendell Berry. 245 00:13:13,310 --> 00:13:16,620 Elizabeth, thank you very much for those. 246 00:13:16,620 --> 00:13:22,100 My story is a literal failure to name race on my own part 247 00:13:22,100 --> 00:13:26,490 in a lesson I was doing with our high school youth group 248 00:13:26,490 --> 00:13:28,470 several years ago. 249 00:13:28,470 --> 00:13:33,300 And it's one that I've reflected on many times since 250 00:13:33,300 --> 00:13:36,560 and never expected to be sharing in a public format, 251 00:13:36,560 --> 00:13:41,890 because it really uncomfortable to do so. 252 00:13:41,890 --> 00:13:46,670 But I cannot say enough how much I think it is important for us 253 00:13:46,670 --> 00:13:49,600 to sit into the discomfort that comes around some of these 254 00:13:49,600 --> 00:13:53,410 conversations and how much it feels like the idea 255 00:13:53,410 --> 00:14:01,930 of vulnerability is at the essence of growth and change 256 00:14:01,930 --> 00:14:06,300 around this whole arena of race and bias and our enmeshed 257 00:14:06,300 --> 00:14:08,650 cultural assumptions. 258 00:14:08,650 --> 00:14:14,370 So my story-- I'm supposed to press a button, 259 00:14:14,370 --> 00:14:18,410 I have a little graphic that goes. 260 00:14:18,410 --> 00:14:20,750 A couple years ago, my first year as DRE, 261 00:14:20,750 --> 00:14:23,480 I was planning a service learning trip 262 00:14:23,480 --> 00:14:26,020 with our senior youth that 20 of our kids 263 00:14:26,020 --> 00:14:29,230 had jumped in to participate with. 264 00:14:29,230 --> 00:14:31,360 In part because it was a really exciting trip. 265 00:14:31,360 --> 00:14:36,090 We were going to be traveling to Belize in Central America 266 00:14:36,090 --> 00:14:38,770 to work with an organization called Sustainable Harvest 267 00:14:38,770 --> 00:14:41,150 International. 268 00:14:41,150 --> 00:14:44,020 And I think that service learning trips are really 269 00:14:44,020 --> 00:14:48,240 incredible opportunities for growth for our youth 270 00:14:48,240 --> 00:14:53,560 and really sort of a great tool for deepening 271 00:14:53,560 --> 00:14:55,310 our understanding of shared humanity, 272 00:14:55,310 --> 00:14:57,274 but they also can be really problematic 273 00:14:57,274 --> 00:14:58,815 in terms of the cultural implications 274 00:14:58,815 --> 00:15:02,540 and in terms of our effect on the communities that we visit. 275 00:15:02,540 --> 00:15:05,310 So we were in a conversation trying to sort of explore 276 00:15:05,310 --> 00:15:10,570 that idea and I was working to try and get 277 00:15:10,570 --> 00:15:14,240 the kids to get their head around this idea of, 278 00:15:14,240 --> 00:15:17,890 how might some of our impact be negative? 279 00:15:17,890 --> 00:15:20,820 Or how do you think we may be received? 280 00:15:20,820 --> 00:15:23,036 And one of the youth had asked me a question, 281 00:15:23,036 --> 00:15:24,410 and in response to their question 282 00:15:24,410 --> 00:15:26,980 I said something along the lines of, 283 00:15:26,980 --> 00:15:30,550 OK, well imagine if you are these Mayan people 284 00:15:30,550 --> 00:15:34,300 in the rainforest in Belize end a school bus pulls up 285 00:15:34,300 --> 00:15:36,760 and 24 of us pour out. 286 00:15:36,760 --> 00:15:38,740 How do you think that you might react 287 00:15:38,740 --> 00:15:42,280 to all of these white people? 288 00:15:42,280 --> 00:15:46,600 And as soon as I said that, I realized that I had completely 289 00:15:46,600 --> 00:15:49,920 misspoke because we were 21 white people and three 290 00:15:49,920 --> 00:15:51,180 black people. 291 00:15:51,180 --> 00:15:54,540 What I was trying to get at was sort of the striking difference 292 00:15:54,540 --> 00:15:57,810 in appearance, that kind of initial impact 293 00:15:57,810 --> 00:16:01,800 that we would have just right as soon as we arrived. 294 00:16:01,800 --> 00:16:06,690 But I did so by totally sticking my foot in my mouth. 295 00:16:06,690 --> 00:16:08,200 And then I froze because I didn't 296 00:16:08,200 --> 00:16:12,090 know how to fix that mistake, that misstep, 297 00:16:12,090 --> 00:16:15,540 without potentially making the black student who 298 00:16:15,540 --> 00:16:17,970 was in the classroom feel uncomfortable. 299 00:16:17,970 --> 00:16:20,430 I was afraid if I called out my own mistake people would 300 00:16:20,430 --> 00:16:23,810 turn to look and see their reaction, 301 00:16:23,810 --> 00:16:26,620 and I was just frozen by it. 302 00:16:26,620 --> 00:16:29,030 And I ended up not addressing it at the moment. 303 00:16:29,030 --> 00:16:30,970 I ended up coming back to that student 304 00:16:30,970 --> 00:16:34,590 later and having a conversation with them 305 00:16:34,590 --> 00:16:38,770 about-- just basically apologizing. 306 00:16:38,770 --> 00:16:41,130 The student was incredibly gracious 307 00:16:41,130 --> 00:16:44,440 and totally understanding, said something like, 308 00:16:44,440 --> 00:16:46,410 I knew what you meant. 309 00:16:46,410 --> 00:16:52,090 But for me, as a new DRE, it was a real shift 310 00:16:52,090 --> 00:16:55,340 because just having that conversation with them, 311 00:16:55,340 --> 00:16:59,090 realizing my discomfort, realizing how out of water I 312 00:16:59,090 --> 00:17:05,180 felt, and then stepping into a conversation with that student 313 00:17:05,180 --> 00:17:09,650 sort of reminded me how important is. 314 00:17:09,650 --> 00:17:15,180 It gave me a new level of fluency about-- fluency is not 315 00:17:15,180 --> 00:17:18,170 the right word, but a little more comfort-- in terms 316 00:17:18,170 --> 00:17:20,890 of broaching this topic. 317 00:17:20,890 --> 00:17:23,400 And it also just really kind of kicked 318 00:17:23,400 --> 00:17:27,319 me in the ass about doing more work for myself to feel 319 00:17:27,319 --> 00:17:29,280 more confident in those conversations 320 00:17:29,280 --> 00:17:31,260 and really digging into this. 321 00:17:31,260 --> 00:17:32,886 Why does this feel so uncomfortable? 322 00:17:32,886 --> 00:17:34,010 And what could I have done? 323 00:17:34,010 --> 00:17:37,720 And replaying and sitting with it. 324 00:17:37,720 --> 00:17:39,910 So it was really helpful. 325 00:17:39,910 --> 00:17:43,030 And I had been talking with Elizabeth at the LREDA 326 00:17:43,030 --> 00:17:47,620 conference last fall about this experience because it really 327 00:17:47,620 --> 00:17:50,820 did become sort of a turning point for my relationship 328 00:17:50,820 --> 00:17:55,100 with the student that I ended up having a conversation with. 329 00:17:55,100 --> 00:17:57,050 We were much more fluid with each other 330 00:17:57,050 --> 00:18:00,940 and able to talk much more honestly with each other 331 00:18:00,940 --> 00:18:05,780 around issues of race and bias after I brought up 332 00:18:05,780 --> 00:18:07,430 my own misstep. 333 00:18:07,430 --> 00:18:10,060 So it was really helpful. 334 00:18:10,060 --> 00:18:12,630 When Elizabeth asked me to share this story here, 335 00:18:12,630 --> 00:18:14,140 I was kind of horrified. 336 00:18:14,140 --> 00:18:15,820 And when we practiced it last week, 337 00:18:15,820 --> 00:18:20,760 it was really emotional because of that vulnerability. 338 00:18:20,760 --> 00:18:26,680 Because I think a part of this is there's this duality of, 339 00:18:26,680 --> 00:18:29,050 we have a responsibility as religious educators 340 00:18:29,050 --> 00:18:31,590 to start these conversations and it's also something 341 00:18:31,590 --> 00:18:34,680 that requires so much practice. 342 00:18:34,680 --> 00:18:36,700 And the only way you can practice 343 00:18:36,700 --> 00:18:40,460 is by stumbling over your words and messing up, and admitting 344 00:18:40,460 --> 00:18:42,910 it and getting back up again. 345 00:18:42,910 --> 00:18:46,400 And all of that isn't shining the brightest 346 00:18:46,400 --> 00:18:50,670 light on us, and as people, we want to look good. 347 00:18:50,670 --> 00:18:53,700 We want to look like we know we're talking about and for me, 348 00:18:53,700 --> 00:18:57,070 this is not a place where I feel that way. 349 00:18:57,070 --> 00:19:01,250 And it still is very much a part of my job 350 00:19:01,250 --> 00:19:07,170 and a part of our responsibility as human citizens in this world 351 00:19:07,170 --> 00:19:09,650 to really be sitting into this. 352 00:19:09,650 --> 00:19:16,630 So after our practice last week, I stumbled across a talk 353 00:19:16,630 --> 00:19:20,100 that I would really recommend in particular. 354 00:19:20,100 --> 00:19:24,430 Her name is Alison-- I jotted it down for myself here-- 355 00:19:24,430 --> 00:19:26,450 Alison Bailey, Doctor Alison Bailey, 356 00:19:26,450 --> 00:19:29,850 and the resource is called, What's Wrong with White Talk? 357 00:19:29,850 --> 00:19:31,530 I think the link is here. 358 00:19:31,530 --> 00:19:37,300 Maybe I have to press another button to show it. 359 00:19:37,300 --> 00:19:42,310 But Doctor Bailey, around a 30 minute mark of her talk, 360 00:19:42,310 --> 00:19:44,420 talks about vulnerability and talks 361 00:19:44,420 --> 00:19:48,680 about it being a transformative process to really allow 362 00:19:48,680 --> 00:19:50,010 ourselves to be vulnerable. 363 00:19:50,010 --> 00:19:54,110 And for me, this exercise, and reflecting 364 00:19:54,110 --> 00:19:56,860 on that initial story, but this exercise of digging 365 00:19:56,860 --> 00:20:00,020 into it again and sharing it with more people 366 00:20:00,020 --> 00:20:04,090 really is kind of an example of the power of that 367 00:20:04,090 --> 00:20:09,050 to shift and propel us forward into deeper growth. 368 00:20:09,050 --> 00:20:11,620 So that's the glory I wanted to hold up today. 369 00:20:11,620 --> 00:20:12,850 Pat Kahn: Thank you, Kirsten. 370 00:20:12,850 --> 00:20:17,800 And we will also be sure to put a link to that on the resource 371 00:20:17,800 --> 00:20:20,630 page. 372 00:20:20,630 --> 00:20:23,560 We're having a little bit of difficulty with Jamil's sound, 373 00:20:23,560 --> 00:20:25,770 so we're going to skip to Sheila. 374 00:20:25,770 --> 00:20:29,930 And Sheila, I will time you, and I'll come back 375 00:20:29,930 --> 00:20:37,239 on when you've got one minute. 376 00:20:37,239 --> 00:20:39,030 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you, Pat, and thank 377 00:20:39,030 --> 00:20:41,140 you Lauren and Kirsten. 378 00:20:41,140 --> 00:20:44,470 You can't see how vigorously I'm nodding, sitting here 379 00:20:44,470 --> 00:20:47,970 in front of my computer, so thank you, both. 380 00:20:47,970 --> 00:20:52,890 And Sheila Schuh is the Director of Religious-- is it education? 381 00:20:52,890 --> 00:20:56,330 Or-- Education, yes, at First Unitarian in Rochester 382 00:20:56,330 --> 00:20:59,200 and is going to share some stories about being 383 00:20:59,200 --> 00:21:01,370 responsive and accountable. 384 00:21:01,370 --> 00:21:03,089 So thank you, Sheila. 385 00:21:03,089 --> 00:21:03,880 Sheila Schuh: Sure. 386 00:21:03,880 --> 00:21:06,920 My story really begins with where I am. 387 00:21:06,920 --> 00:21:09,850 We don't have a comprehensive plan for addressing race 388 00:21:09,850 --> 00:21:11,250 right now in my congregation. 389 00:21:11,250 --> 00:21:13,260 So I called my slide Starting Here 390 00:21:13,260 --> 00:21:18,400 because I'm starting with whatever has come up. 391 00:21:18,400 --> 00:21:21,520 Last year, a couple of the ministers and I 392 00:21:21,520 --> 00:21:24,100 sat down with people of color from my congregation 393 00:21:24,100 --> 00:21:26,210 and basically just asked them, what's 394 00:21:26,210 --> 00:21:27,720 working for you, what's not working 395 00:21:27,720 --> 00:21:31,970 for you in terms of your feeling of acceptance in our community? 396 00:21:31,970 --> 00:21:34,850 And one of the moms, who is African-American, 397 00:21:34,850 --> 00:21:38,240 said that the two things that were bugging her 398 00:21:38,240 --> 00:21:40,750 were that when she walks in, she's 399 00:21:40,750 --> 00:21:44,140 often treated like a visitor and welcomed as a visitor instead 400 00:21:44,140 --> 00:21:46,090 of a member of the Church. 401 00:21:46,090 --> 00:21:49,270 And she also said that her daughter often 402 00:21:49,270 --> 00:21:52,370 gets called the name of another child of color, 403 00:21:52,370 --> 00:21:54,580 and that was upsetting to her. 404 00:21:54,580 --> 00:21:58,830 And so I sat with that and the next weekend 405 00:21:58,830 --> 00:22:03,720 in children's worship, I decided to do something about it. 406 00:22:03,720 --> 00:22:06,940 I didn't really check with anybody. 407 00:22:06,940 --> 00:22:09,800 I brought in this picture on my slide of Whitney Young 408 00:22:09,800 --> 00:22:12,870 and I asked the kids, during the moment of inquiry 409 00:22:12,870 --> 00:22:17,440 we have in worship, do you know who this man is? 410 00:22:17,440 --> 00:22:20,730 We were focusing on ancestry and so 411 00:22:20,730 --> 00:22:24,140 the kids guessed it was Martin Luther King Jr. 412 00:22:24,140 --> 00:22:27,730 And so I asked them to look more closely 413 00:22:27,730 --> 00:22:30,690 and to really focus on the features 414 00:22:30,690 --> 00:22:33,820 and see if they really think it's him. 415 00:22:33,820 --> 00:22:37,980 And then more kids said, well, maybe it's his dad? 416 00:22:37,980 --> 00:22:41,660 Maybe somehow he's related to Martin Luther King 417 00:22:41,660 --> 00:22:46,080 Jr. And when I told them it was Whitney Young and kind of what 418 00:22:46,080 --> 00:22:50,520 he was all about, I talked about him as a spiritual ancestor 419 00:22:50,520 --> 00:22:55,010 of ours, and that sometimes, when we only know 420 00:22:55,010 --> 00:22:58,280 a couple people of color, or a couple people who 421 00:22:58,280 --> 00:23:00,510 look different than we do, we assume either 422 00:23:00,510 --> 00:23:05,210 that they are the same person or that they 423 00:23:05,210 --> 00:23:07,950 know each other somehow or that they're related. 424 00:23:07,950 --> 00:23:10,460 So I went right after it. 425 00:23:10,460 --> 00:23:13,520 I felt like I needed to address this issue of kids calling 426 00:23:13,520 --> 00:23:17,200 these two children the same name or interchanging their names 427 00:23:17,200 --> 00:23:21,460 and I didn't know how else to deal with it, so I actually 428 00:23:21,460 --> 00:23:25,080 just dealt with it directly and talk to them about-- especially 429 00:23:25,080 --> 00:23:27,500 in our culture here church, we're 430 00:23:27,500 --> 00:23:31,410 mostly white people and call children-- 431 00:23:31,410 --> 00:23:33,460 I just dealt with it right out. 432 00:23:33,460 --> 00:23:39,890 So after that, I talked to my staff about it and my staff, 433 00:23:39,890 --> 00:23:42,990 my Director of Early Childhood is African-American, 434 00:23:42,990 --> 00:23:45,720 and she said that when she comes into church, 435 00:23:45,720 --> 00:23:47,680 she's also tree like a visitor. 436 00:23:47,680 --> 00:23:50,160 So I was like, OK. 437 00:23:50,160 --> 00:23:53,600 So then I went to the membership person and-- I addressed 438 00:23:53,600 --> 00:23:56,880 the situation by going to the membership person and saying, 439 00:23:56,880 --> 00:23:59,900 could you please talk to the volunteers who are at the door 440 00:23:59,900 --> 00:24:01,990 so when they're greeting people of color, 441 00:24:01,990 --> 00:24:04,870 they have an education around race 442 00:24:04,870 --> 00:24:09,670 and also sensitivity to this particular staff member of mine 443 00:24:09,670 --> 00:24:13,630 and the children in our program, et cetera? 444 00:24:13,630 --> 00:24:16,540 In terms of my program, I've tried 445 00:24:16,540 --> 00:24:19,500 to now bring in sessions, especially 446 00:24:19,500 --> 00:24:24,110 for the younger kids, around skin color and race that 447 00:24:24,110 --> 00:24:29,230 are really positive in terms of the beauty of their skin, where 448 00:24:29,230 --> 00:24:31,590 it comes from, and kind of looking 449 00:24:31,590 --> 00:24:34,920 at it from the perspective of beauty and individuality. 450 00:24:34,920 --> 00:24:39,740 Because in our city, most of the talk about race 451 00:24:39,740 --> 00:24:43,260 is about the inner city and the poverty there 452 00:24:43,260 --> 00:24:44,550 and the violence there. 453 00:24:44,550 --> 00:24:46,370 And so I wanted to give them a balance 454 00:24:46,370 --> 00:24:52,632 in terms of really understanding race from the very basics. 455 00:24:52,632 --> 00:24:53,590 So I've done that work. 456 00:24:53,590 --> 00:24:55,490 And then all the way up through youth group 457 00:24:55,490 --> 00:25:00,765 who just hosted a session on "I'm Not a Racist, Am I?", 458 00:25:00,765 --> 00:25:02,900 on hosting the move with ten other churches. 459 00:25:02,900 --> 00:25:05,940 So I'm trying to bring it in systemically 460 00:25:05,940 --> 00:25:07,660 in terms of the educational part, 461 00:25:07,660 --> 00:25:10,430 but then having to deal with these instances 462 00:25:10,430 --> 00:25:12,630 where it comes up organically and having 463 00:25:12,630 --> 00:25:17,310 to go after that myself, which takes a lot of courage. 464 00:25:17,310 --> 00:25:19,360 I preached on it in the summer. 465 00:25:19,360 --> 00:25:21,130 I use this as an example. 466 00:25:21,130 --> 00:25:23,830 Right after that service, I had-- 467 00:25:23,830 --> 00:25:27,010 there were two black men in the congregation, who somebody 468 00:25:27,010 --> 00:25:30,230 exchanged their identities for each other, 469 00:25:30,230 --> 00:25:32,300 and that was really quite awful for them, 470 00:25:32,300 --> 00:25:35,940 so they came to me to go to the white people who were talking 471 00:25:35,940 --> 00:25:39,000 to them, and I did it. 472 00:25:39,000 --> 00:25:41,760 I went up to them and I talked to them about that. 473 00:25:41,760 --> 00:25:46,540 So opening myself is, I think, for me 474 00:25:46,540 --> 00:25:50,530 the key to understanding the places in myself where 475 00:25:50,530 --> 00:25:53,410 I feel like I've been a minority, where I've 476 00:25:53,410 --> 00:25:57,100 been put down because of either way I look-- 477 00:25:57,100 --> 00:25:59,820 and for me, that's been the key to staying strong 478 00:25:59,820 --> 00:26:01,770 in the struggle, that I can identify 479 00:26:01,770 --> 00:26:06,360 with that sense of being put down for the way I am. 480 00:26:06,360 --> 00:26:09,210 And I stay in that place, and it's so uncomfortable for me, 481 00:26:09,210 --> 00:26:13,870 but that's, for me, what's helped me to keep going on. 482 00:26:13,870 --> 00:26:17,350 And in terms of the ongoing struggle, 483 00:26:17,350 --> 00:26:21,910 I just-- I was telling my colleagues-- on Saturday, 484 00:26:21,910 --> 00:26:24,350 I had my Director of Early Childhood 485 00:26:24,350 --> 00:26:28,010 stay to be with the youth group, and we are also 486 00:26:28,010 --> 00:26:32,430 hosting a week of homeless families at our church. 487 00:26:32,430 --> 00:26:36,330 And so I had-- on Sunday morning in our RE circle 488 00:26:36,330 --> 00:26:39,610 she shared that three of our members 489 00:26:39,610 --> 00:26:44,300 had asked her if she was part of that program. 490 00:26:44,300 --> 00:26:48,970 So I have the grief of not only working with it in terms 491 00:26:48,970 --> 00:26:50,650 of the children and youth, but I also 492 00:26:50,650 --> 00:26:54,160 have it with-- I've hired an African-American staff member 493 00:26:54,160 --> 00:26:58,100 and now I have to constantly try to advocate 494 00:26:58,100 --> 00:27:01,970 for her fair treatment and it's just 495 00:27:01,970 --> 00:27:04,800 been so very difficult for me. 496 00:27:04,800 --> 00:27:09,080 So that's my story. 497 00:27:09,080 --> 00:27:11,830 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you so much, Sheila. 498 00:27:11,830 --> 00:27:15,090 Thank you for sharing open-heartedly about the work 499 00:27:15,090 --> 00:27:20,070 that you've done and what it is ongoing. 500 00:27:20,070 --> 00:27:22,670 So, Jamil, we see you right now, but I 501 00:27:22,670 --> 00:27:25,610 know it's been a little challenging, 502 00:27:25,610 --> 00:27:32,260 so hopefully you can be with us. 503 00:27:32,260 --> 00:27:37,810 We cannot hear you, unfortunately. 504 00:27:37,810 --> 00:27:43,930 Do you want to try by phone? 505 00:27:43,930 --> 00:27:45,620 I'm going to go ahead and introduce you 506 00:27:45,620 --> 00:27:51,340 like it's happening and you do what you can. 507 00:27:51,340 --> 00:27:55,110 So Reverend Jamil Scott is the Acting Director 508 00:27:55,110 --> 00:27:57,480 of Religious Exploration at First Unitarian 509 00:27:57,480 --> 00:28:02,340 Society of Denver and if we can make the tech work, 510 00:28:02,340 --> 00:28:06,440 he'll be sharing a story of letting 511 00:28:06,440 --> 00:28:10,610 the reality of injustice impact religious education 512 00:28:10,610 --> 00:28:14,750 and how that's unfolded. 513 00:28:14,750 --> 00:28:19,970 So I think since it looks like he's trying to make it work, 514 00:28:19,970 --> 00:28:30,080 maybe let's just take a moment here to see if he can. 515 00:28:30,080 --> 00:28:35,110 Yeah, and while we're seeing if that can work, 516 00:28:35,110 --> 00:28:40,410 if anyone has any questions or wants to share briefly 517 00:28:40,410 --> 00:28:43,790 about anything that resonated with them, 518 00:28:43,790 --> 00:28:50,420 we can do some of that as well. 519 00:28:50,420 --> 00:28:55,730 And Pat and Susan, if people have a question, 520 00:28:55,730 --> 00:28:58,340 should they unmute themselves? 521 00:28:58,340 --> 00:29:00,470 Or put it in the chat box? 522 00:29:00,470 --> 00:29:03,320 OK, so if you have a question, put it in the chat box. 523 00:29:03,320 --> 00:29:08,440 And I'm also going to let Lauren go ahead and share a little bit 524 00:29:08,440 --> 00:29:12,480 more about the curriculum that they use and some of what 525 00:29:12,480 --> 00:29:14,860 she's created to talk about race, 526 00:29:14,860 --> 00:29:16,570 because she's offering to do that. 527 00:29:16,570 --> 00:29:17,860 Thank you, Lauren. 528 00:29:17,860 --> 00:29:19,730 Lauren Wyeth: Yeah, sure. 529 00:29:19,730 --> 00:29:25,490 So last year, I did a process of writing some curriculum 530 00:29:25,490 --> 00:29:30,210 for our second, third, sixth, and eighth grade classes, 531 00:29:30,210 --> 00:29:35,180 and I just wanted to share how difficult it was to do that. 532 00:29:35,180 --> 00:29:40,760 I felt really unprepared to write curriculum 533 00:29:40,760 --> 00:29:46,970 and it was a bit overwhelming and humbling how long 534 00:29:46,970 --> 00:29:48,260 it took for me to do that. 535 00:29:48,260 --> 00:29:52,580 I just found that it was difficult for me 536 00:29:52,580 --> 00:29:55,720 to find resources, and then it was really hard 537 00:29:55,720 --> 00:29:59,780 for me to comb through and decide what to use. 538 00:29:59,780 --> 00:30:03,640 And I just want to validate that that's what it's like sometimes 539 00:30:03,640 --> 00:30:05,400 and for sure it was what it's like for me 540 00:30:05,400 --> 00:30:08,430 to sort of begin that process of doing something 541 00:30:08,430 --> 00:30:13,180 brand new as an RE Director and it felt so formidable, like I 542 00:30:13,180 --> 00:30:13,750 said. 543 00:30:13,750 --> 00:30:17,330 I wanted to point people towards the teaching tolerance, 544 00:30:17,330 --> 00:30:20,150 anti-bias framework as a resource. 545 00:30:20,150 --> 00:30:24,090 That was ultimately what I settled on as the framework 546 00:30:24,090 --> 00:30:27,260 to build the curriculum upon, regardless 547 00:30:27,260 --> 00:30:30,490 of the age of the kids, and I found it tremendously helpful 548 00:30:30,490 --> 00:30:33,870 to have a way to organize and make sense 549 00:30:33,870 --> 00:30:37,950 of what I wanted to present and why. 550 00:30:37,950 --> 00:30:42,070 And then I also just wanted to share one insight 551 00:30:42,070 --> 00:30:45,280 that I had as we introduced this curriculum. 552 00:30:45,280 --> 00:30:47,270 I hadn't experienced-- similar to what 553 00:30:47,270 --> 00:30:49,290 we have with OWL at our congregation 554 00:30:49,290 --> 00:30:52,770 which is that, all of a sudden, children and youth 555 00:30:52,770 --> 00:30:54,435 showed up regularly for their classes 556 00:30:54,435 --> 00:30:58,460 when we were doing our curricula focused on racial justice. 557 00:30:58,460 --> 00:31:00,460 It was like they got it, and their families 558 00:31:00,460 --> 00:31:02,267 got it, that this was really important 559 00:31:02,267 --> 00:31:04,100 and it was different than what was happening 560 00:31:04,100 --> 00:31:06,050 anywhere else in their lives. 561 00:31:06,050 --> 00:31:09,620 And so they made it to church on a regular basis. 562 00:31:09,620 --> 00:31:13,000 Another thing that came out of this that I didn't expect, 563 00:31:13,000 --> 00:31:18,174 is that our parents really wanted to talk more. 564 00:31:18,174 --> 00:31:19,715 Many parents had been already engaged 565 00:31:19,715 --> 00:31:21,680 in this conversation around race, 566 00:31:21,680 --> 00:31:25,120 but once they knew that their kids were getting material 567 00:31:25,120 --> 00:31:26,980 in their RE classes on Sunday, they 568 00:31:26,980 --> 00:31:29,090 felt-- it became quite clear that they wanted 569 00:31:29,090 --> 00:31:32,580 to keep up and get ahead of and be able to accompany 570 00:31:32,580 --> 00:31:35,230 their kids on this journey. 571 00:31:35,230 --> 00:31:38,390 So lots and lots of parents signed up for a small groups 572 00:31:38,390 --> 00:31:42,220 that we led on talking about race with kids. 573 00:31:42,220 --> 00:31:44,970 Much better response to those small groups 574 00:31:44,970 --> 00:31:46,600 than practically any other small groups 575 00:31:46,600 --> 00:31:49,150 that we've led for parents. 576 00:31:49,150 --> 00:31:51,070 So that kind of response was really 577 00:31:51,070 --> 00:31:56,060 validating that both the kids and their parents 578 00:31:56,060 --> 00:31:58,180 are hungry for these conversations 579 00:31:58,180 --> 00:32:00,707 to happen at church. 580 00:32:00,707 --> 00:32:02,540 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you so much, Lauren. 581 00:32:02,540 --> 00:32:05,950 When there is so much that is broken and hard in this world, 582 00:32:05,950 --> 00:32:08,620 it's stories like that that make me 583 00:32:08,620 --> 00:32:11,520 feel like our faith is moving us in more 584 00:32:11,520 --> 00:32:15,360 whole and just directions. 585 00:32:15,360 --> 00:32:19,420 So I think Jamil is with us by phone. 586 00:32:19,420 --> 00:32:20,970 Do you want to try, Jamil? 587 00:32:20,970 --> 00:32:21,630 Are you there? 588 00:32:21,630 --> 00:32:22,380 Jamil Scott: Yeah. 589 00:32:22,380 --> 00:32:24,037 Can everyone hear me? 590 00:32:24,037 --> 00:32:24,536 Wow. 591 00:32:24,536 --> 00:32:25,619 Elizabeth Nguyen: Amazing. 592 00:32:25,619 --> 00:32:27,303 Jamil Scott: So four different devices 593 00:32:27,303 --> 00:32:30,244 and I finally did it with the old-fashioned telephone. 594 00:32:30,244 --> 00:32:31,200 [LAUGHTER] 595 00:32:31,200 --> 00:32:33,700 Elizabeth Nguyen: There's some deep spiritual lesson there. 596 00:32:33,700 --> 00:32:34,330 Well thank you for-- 597 00:32:34,330 --> 00:32:34,600 Jamil Scott: There is. 598 00:32:34,600 --> 00:32:35,780 I don't know. 599 00:32:35,780 --> 00:32:38,090 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you for persevering 600 00:32:38,090 --> 00:32:40,950 and I will hand it over to you to talk 601 00:32:40,950 --> 00:32:45,730 about what naming race has looked like in your context. 602 00:32:45,730 --> 00:32:46,730 Jamil Scott: Absolutely. 603 00:32:46,730 --> 00:32:50,450 You know, when I first arrived at this congregation this year, 604 00:32:50,450 --> 00:32:55,900 there was a desire by the religious education team, 605 00:32:55,900 --> 00:32:59,410 and many of the parents, to really address 606 00:32:59,410 --> 00:33:03,110 what was happening in the news and talk about Black Lives 607 00:33:03,110 --> 00:33:04,480 Matter, and et cetera. 608 00:33:04,480 --> 00:33:09,820 And our congregation has made a commitment to working with 609 00:33:09,820 --> 00:33:12,630 and have great relationships with a lot of the leaders-- 610 00:33:12,630 --> 00:33:16,580 mostly women, mostly African-American women-- 611 00:33:16,580 --> 00:33:18,670 in the area regarding Black Lives 612 00:33:18,670 --> 00:33:22,060 Matter, and our congregation does a lot of justice work 613 00:33:22,060 --> 00:33:24,140 but some of that doesn't carry over 614 00:33:24,140 --> 00:33:27,190 into the other part of our program. 615 00:33:27,190 --> 00:33:30,790 And so when I started I'm like, OK, so obviously 616 00:33:30,790 --> 00:33:35,250 they want me to help because of the color of my skin, right? 617 00:33:35,250 --> 00:33:37,730 But it's like, how do we actually 618 00:33:37,730 --> 00:33:41,880 teach these children at all of these 619 00:33:41,880 --> 00:33:46,200 develop different developmental ages about racial justice? 620 00:33:46,200 --> 00:33:49,070 And particularly, police violence, 621 00:33:49,070 --> 00:33:52,750 the specific focus of the Black Lives Matter movement. 622 00:33:52,750 --> 00:33:56,570 And so it came to mind that-- two things, 623 00:33:56,570 --> 00:33:58,377 that we have to be responsive to whatever 624 00:33:58,377 --> 00:34:00,710 was happening in the news and see if we could address it 625 00:34:00,710 --> 00:34:01,680 with our youth. 626 00:34:01,680 --> 00:34:03,780 Which is, to an extent, terrifying to me, 627 00:34:03,780 --> 00:34:06,980 but that was one approach. 628 00:34:06,980 --> 00:34:09,040 And the other approach is to educate parents 629 00:34:09,040 --> 00:34:12,449 because they're the primary religious educators in the home 630 00:34:12,449 --> 00:34:17,880 and that what we can't cover for 45 minutes on a Sunday morning, 631 00:34:17,880 --> 00:34:20,150 the parents can through their education 632 00:34:20,150 --> 00:34:24,360 and their further involvement with Black Lives Matter. 633 00:34:24,360 --> 00:34:27,710 When I arrived at this church, being 634 00:34:27,710 --> 00:34:30,060 a person of color in a predominantly 635 00:34:30,060 --> 00:34:33,602 white denomination, you never know 636 00:34:33,602 --> 00:34:35,310 how things are going to work and how much 637 00:34:35,310 --> 00:34:38,719 work any church has done around issues-- 638 00:34:38,719 --> 00:34:41,909 issues around racial justice and accepting 639 00:34:41,909 --> 00:34:44,940 religious leaders, religious professionals of color, 640 00:34:44,940 --> 00:34:46,084 et cetera. 641 00:34:46,084 --> 00:34:48,000 So there's always a little bit of trepidation. 642 00:34:48,000 --> 00:34:51,370 And so I walked up to the congregation just sort 643 00:34:51,370 --> 00:34:54,824 of checking out, scoping out the scene before I started. 644 00:34:54,824 --> 00:34:57,240 And I walked up and there was this huge Black Lives Matter 645 00:34:57,240 --> 00:35:00,950 banner on the side of the church and it was so 646 00:35:00,950 --> 00:35:04,465 affirming to see that, and I was actually quite emotional. 647 00:35:04,465 --> 00:35:08,460 And I felt like, oh, I've arrived at home. 648 00:35:08,460 --> 00:35:11,460 This is a place where I know that my authority will 649 00:35:11,460 --> 00:35:13,525 be accepted, that I won't have to deal with some 650 00:35:13,525 --> 00:35:17,150 of the other issues that I have to deal with in a predominantly 651 00:35:17,150 --> 00:35:19,730 white denominations, et cetera. 652 00:35:19,730 --> 00:35:23,090 So a couple of months after starting, 653 00:35:23,090 --> 00:35:25,930 I'd normally walk to the church and walk in the same way. 654 00:35:25,930 --> 00:35:30,360 I walk up and there's red paint on the side of the building 655 00:35:30,360 --> 00:35:32,550 and all over our sign. 656 00:35:32,550 --> 00:35:34,440 Someone had destroyed our sign. 657 00:35:34,440 --> 00:35:36,920 And for me it was-- because that had 658 00:35:36,920 --> 00:35:41,830 meant so much to me walking up-- seeing this paint on our sign 659 00:35:41,830 --> 00:35:44,710 had-- it reminded me of blood. 660 00:35:44,710 --> 00:35:47,310 It seemed like our church had been wounded 661 00:35:47,310 --> 00:35:49,760 and our mission had been wounded, 662 00:35:49,760 --> 00:35:52,060 and what we were trying to do had been wounded. 663 00:35:52,060 --> 00:35:55,430 And I was angry and sort of shocked 664 00:35:55,430 --> 00:35:59,920 back into reality that we still have a lot of work 665 00:35:59,920 --> 00:36:03,800 to do in our community, but also, of course, our church. 666 00:36:03,800 --> 00:36:09,780 And I didn't know if I wanted to address this in the classroom. 667 00:36:09,780 --> 00:36:13,726 Sometimes, adults, we think that these things that 668 00:36:13,726 --> 00:36:16,100 matter so much to us-- all this justice work we're doing, 669 00:36:16,100 --> 00:36:18,225 the Black Lives Matter sign, the destruction of it, 670 00:36:18,225 --> 00:36:21,390 the emotional stuff that comes up-- is just relevant to us. 671 00:36:21,390 --> 00:36:23,320 And maybe our children sort of know about it, 672 00:36:23,320 --> 00:36:25,361 but it doesn't necessarily mean that much to them 673 00:36:25,361 --> 00:36:28,170 because we haven't discussed that much with them. 674 00:36:28,170 --> 00:36:35,310 But I felt like we had set this vision that we would address 675 00:36:35,310 --> 00:36:38,110 Black Lives Matter and we would be responsive to anything 676 00:36:38,110 --> 00:36:39,890 that happened in the community. 677 00:36:39,890 --> 00:36:42,180 And so we decided to address it in class, 678 00:36:42,180 --> 00:36:47,910 and we used one lesson from the Windows and Mirrors curriculum 679 00:36:47,910 --> 00:36:51,170 about forgiveness and figuring out 680 00:36:51,170 --> 00:36:56,460 how to actually speak our truths and ask for reconciliation 681 00:36:56,460 --> 00:36:58,480 before we forgive. 682 00:36:58,480 --> 00:37:02,330 And so I spoke with the youth and I was quite surprised. 683 00:37:02,330 --> 00:37:04,200 The first thing we touched on was, 684 00:37:04,200 --> 00:37:06,980 what was their feeling about our sign being damaged? 685 00:37:06,980 --> 00:37:10,320 And to my surprise, they were all 686 00:37:10,320 --> 00:37:12,470 in the exact same head space that I was 687 00:37:12,470 --> 00:37:13,780 and emotional space I was. 688 00:37:13,780 --> 00:37:16,380 They were angry, they were upset, 689 00:37:16,380 --> 00:37:19,360 they were confused, across the board 690 00:37:19,360 --> 00:37:22,540 and I noticed, especially, some of our children of color, 691 00:37:22,540 --> 00:37:25,250 that at first being very silent and not 692 00:37:25,250 --> 00:37:29,590 wanting to speak up, and then, being given that space, 693 00:37:29,590 --> 00:37:32,690 they were able to speak up more. 694 00:37:32,690 --> 00:37:34,700 So we had them write little notes. 695 00:37:34,700 --> 00:37:40,070 Write these beautiful decorated hearts, or notes, or notes 696 00:37:40,070 --> 00:37:43,700 that we were going to paste outside under our sign. 697 00:37:43,700 --> 00:37:46,150 And basically, they expressed their feelings, 698 00:37:46,150 --> 00:37:49,410 they then said what their response was to that feeling, 699 00:37:49,410 --> 00:37:53,340 and what they needed to forgive the people who did those acts. 700 00:37:53,340 --> 00:37:57,440 And so on the signs, there was something that said, I'm angry. 701 00:37:57,440 --> 00:38:00,870 I'm very angry and their response, I 702 00:38:00,870 --> 00:38:03,310 don't understand why you have done this. 703 00:38:03,310 --> 00:38:06,330 I don't understand why you don't like black people. 704 00:38:06,330 --> 00:38:07,830 I think that was one of them. 705 00:38:07,830 --> 00:38:11,710 And most of them said, for us to forgive you, 706 00:38:11,710 --> 00:38:13,380 you need to come and clean this up. 707 00:38:13,380 --> 00:38:16,040 You need to not do this again and then 708 00:38:16,040 --> 00:38:18,390 we can offer forgiveness. 709 00:38:18,390 --> 00:38:20,870 There was another touching moment 710 00:38:20,870 --> 00:38:24,030 where one of our children walked up to me 711 00:38:24,030 --> 00:38:27,190 and she had been working on, for a week, 712 00:38:27,190 --> 00:38:30,800 constructing a new Black Lives Matter banner out of cardboard. 713 00:38:30,800 --> 00:38:33,382 And she brought up to me and it was quite beautiful. 714 00:38:33,382 --> 00:38:35,840 And of course, we put it up a little bit outside, of course 715 00:38:35,840 --> 00:38:38,140 it didn't stay up, but that she thought 716 00:38:38,140 --> 00:38:40,790 it was so important to present this 717 00:38:40,790 --> 00:38:42,650 to me as a person of color. 718 00:38:42,650 --> 00:38:45,430 So I think sort of what I'm taking from this 719 00:38:45,430 --> 00:38:49,650 is it's very important for us not to underestimate 720 00:38:49,650 --> 00:38:52,990 the amount of trauma or pain that our children are 721 00:38:52,990 --> 00:38:54,800 experiencing in response to what's 722 00:38:54,800 --> 00:38:57,320 happening in the news and events in our community, 723 00:38:57,320 --> 00:39:00,240 and then we have to be responsive, especially when we 724 00:39:00,240 --> 00:39:02,446 have children of color in our community, 725 00:39:02,446 --> 00:39:03,570 because they're holding it. 726 00:39:03,570 --> 00:39:05,320 Whether or not we're addressing it or not, 727 00:39:05,320 --> 00:39:12,950 they're holding it in their hearts. 728 00:39:12,950 --> 00:39:18,300 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you so much, Jamil. 729 00:39:18,300 --> 00:39:25,580 So now we have some time for questions, resource sharing. 730 00:39:25,580 --> 00:39:28,310 A few questions that I bring are, 731 00:39:28,310 --> 00:39:31,960 what resonated with folks from these powerful stories? 732 00:39:31,960 --> 00:39:35,340 What patterns did people see? 733 00:39:35,340 --> 00:39:37,850 Do you have a story to share, very briefly, 734 00:39:37,850 --> 00:39:39,890 that others might learn from? 735 00:39:39,890 --> 00:39:43,990 And then also, what are your next steps, whether you're 736 00:39:43,990 --> 00:39:47,340 religious educator or a religious professional, 737 00:39:47,340 --> 00:39:50,290 or a lay justice leader? 738 00:39:50,290 --> 00:39:54,330 Where have these stories inspired you to go? 739 00:39:54,330 --> 00:39:57,440 And I just want to say again that, to me, this 740 00:39:57,440 --> 00:39:58,990 is what the work looks like. 741 00:39:58,990 --> 00:40:02,080 It looks like us being brave enough 742 00:40:02,080 --> 00:40:05,410 to share stories of mistakes and missteps. 743 00:40:05,410 --> 00:40:08,200 It looks like us trusting our own leadership enough 744 00:40:08,200 --> 00:40:11,590 to share the things that we've created, the powerful work 745 00:40:11,590 --> 00:40:13,550 that we've done. 746 00:40:13,550 --> 00:40:15,480 And it looks like our willingness 747 00:40:15,480 --> 00:40:19,820 to go into the hard places and to bring 748 00:40:19,820 --> 00:40:22,430 the work of religious education there 749 00:40:22,430 --> 00:40:27,100 and to bring what is hard to the work of religious education. 750 00:40:27,100 --> 00:40:30,320 And I'll just also say that if any of the panelists 751 00:40:30,320 --> 00:40:32,990 have reflections that they want to share 752 00:40:32,990 --> 00:40:35,470 in response to each other's stories, 753 00:40:35,470 --> 00:40:58,344 we can also definitely make space for that. 754 00:40:58,344 --> 00:41:00,760 Well, I'll just say some of the things that are popping up 755 00:41:00,760 --> 00:41:03,610 in the chat box and if any of the panelists want to respond, 756 00:41:03,610 --> 00:41:05,220 go for it. 757 00:41:05,220 --> 00:41:09,040 So Leah says, heartened to hear stories 758 00:41:09,040 --> 00:41:10,720 about things that can be done that don't 759 00:41:10,720 --> 00:41:13,730 have to be huge steps. 760 00:41:13,730 --> 00:41:17,860 Liz shares particularly about vocabulary, 761 00:41:17,860 --> 00:41:24,440 that in that congregation, the word race was something 762 00:41:24,440 --> 00:41:27,410 that at least one way congregant didn't like and wanted 763 00:41:27,410 --> 00:41:30,460 to use the word heritage. 764 00:41:30,460 --> 00:41:36,040 And Liz wonders whether they may not be naming race enough 765 00:41:36,040 --> 00:41:38,560 and where might they go from there? 766 00:41:38,560 --> 00:41:40,610 And then another question from Rachel, 767 00:41:40,610 --> 00:41:43,220 about ways that religious educators might support 768 00:41:43,220 --> 00:41:44,930 each other in this work. 769 00:41:44,930 --> 00:41:48,250 So I'll maybe pause here to see if any of y'all want to respond 770 00:41:48,250 --> 00:41:52,350 to any of those. 771 00:41:52,350 --> 00:41:55,184 Jamil Scott: May I respond to the race one? 772 00:41:55,184 --> 00:41:56,350 Elizabeth Nguyen: Go for it. 773 00:41:56,350 --> 00:42:02,810 Jamil Scott: Yeah so I think my gut reaction was not so great, 774 00:42:02,810 --> 00:42:08,510 but my reaction, I think, is-- it depends on, actually, 775 00:42:08,510 --> 00:42:13,180 what is the status, the social status, the racial status, 776 00:42:13,180 --> 00:42:15,380 of that person who brought that up? 777 00:42:15,380 --> 00:42:20,580 I don't think that people who are in positions of privilege 778 00:42:20,580 --> 00:42:25,230 necessarily should define the terms that are being used. 779 00:42:25,230 --> 00:42:27,370 And if people who are marginalized 780 00:42:27,370 --> 00:42:31,090 and persons of color are saying that it is about race 781 00:42:31,090 --> 00:42:33,179 and we need racial justice and they're 782 00:42:33,179 --> 00:42:34,720 comfortable using those terms, then I 783 00:42:34,720 --> 00:42:38,480 think that it would behoove us to then step back and allow 784 00:42:38,480 --> 00:42:40,340 the terms defined by those people who 785 00:42:40,340 --> 00:42:45,160 are most impacted by this work to be used in this situation. 786 00:42:45,160 --> 00:42:49,950 That's my not so humble opinion. 787 00:42:49,950 --> 00:42:53,750 Lauren Wyeth: I also would add, on a somewhat related and kind 788 00:42:53,750 --> 00:42:56,020 of related to this piece of how can we support one 789 00:42:56,020 --> 00:42:59,390 another, that in some ways, as we have engaged 790 00:42:59,390 --> 00:43:01,670 these conversations around race, we 791 00:43:01,670 --> 00:43:04,870 have found that a lot of our covenants for how we are, 792 00:43:04,870 --> 00:43:07,700 particularly in small groups together, are helpful 793 00:43:07,700 --> 00:43:09,610 but only to a point. 794 00:43:09,610 --> 00:43:13,700 We've actually found the failings of our model 795 00:43:13,700 --> 00:43:15,620 through these conversations about race. 796 00:43:15,620 --> 00:43:18,650 And, in particular, what we've come up against 797 00:43:18,650 --> 00:43:24,280 is that giving everybody equal air space and time 798 00:43:24,280 --> 00:43:28,070 and validity to talk about their ideas about race 799 00:43:28,070 --> 00:43:32,270 doesn't always make sense because some of us 800 00:43:32,270 --> 00:43:36,700 are carrying with us things that are-- ideas 801 00:43:36,700 --> 00:43:40,520 and wrong information, that if it just is allowed 802 00:43:40,520 --> 00:43:43,140 to be out there without being challenged 803 00:43:43,140 --> 00:43:49,870 creates an unsafe setting for other congregants. 804 00:43:49,870 --> 00:43:54,100 And so we've had to be intentional about saying 805 00:43:54,100 --> 00:43:57,800 that we all bring our truth and our experience, 806 00:43:57,800 --> 00:44:00,510 and that part of our covenant with one 807 00:44:00,510 --> 00:44:03,740 another is that we're willing to be educated. 808 00:44:03,740 --> 00:44:06,190 And there's a great blog out there, 809 00:44:06,190 --> 00:44:10,450 and I think I shared with Elizabeth, maybe, 810 00:44:10,450 --> 00:44:13,400 the link to it, about this idea of calling 811 00:44:13,400 --> 00:44:15,740 in as opposed to calling one another out, calling 812 00:44:15,740 --> 00:44:17,250 one another in. 813 00:44:17,250 --> 00:44:19,660 I really like that idea and we've made use of that 814 00:44:19,660 --> 00:44:21,860 in our congregation and in our talking about race 815 00:44:21,860 --> 00:44:23,390 with kids circles. 816 00:44:23,390 --> 00:44:27,000 I've found that to be really helpful. 817 00:44:27,000 --> 00:44:30,780 Sheila Schuh: I think one of the important things 818 00:44:30,780 --> 00:44:34,660 that I try to do is bring in a UA staff member 819 00:44:34,660 --> 00:44:40,330 into our chapter and to do a little work around building 820 00:44:40,330 --> 00:44:43,760 authentic diversity because my colleagues are 821 00:44:43,760 --> 00:44:47,680 some of the safest people I can have the conversations with. 822 00:44:47,680 --> 00:44:51,720 So I think, also, seeing our colleagues as places 823 00:44:51,720 --> 00:44:54,790 where, if we can't be vulnerable in our own communities, 824 00:44:54,790 --> 00:44:57,290 to reach out to each other and have that vulnerability 825 00:44:57,290 --> 00:45:01,110 with each other to do some of the deeper work 826 00:45:01,110 --> 00:45:05,100 that's more personal. 827 00:45:05,100 --> 00:45:08,110 Kirsten Hunter: I would add to the comments about covenanting 828 00:45:08,110 --> 00:45:15,310 and where to start and where to look for support. 829 00:45:15,310 --> 00:45:18,500 I know, in our congregation, there's also this risk of, 830 00:45:18,500 --> 00:45:21,600 there's not many people of color. 831 00:45:21,600 --> 00:45:26,850 And so those folks are often asked to be spokespeople 832 00:45:26,850 --> 00:45:28,640 and to step into these roles a lot 833 00:45:28,640 --> 00:45:31,860 where they're being asked to be the expert in the room 834 00:45:31,860 --> 00:45:34,950 and that has it's own set of problems. 835 00:45:34,950 --> 00:45:38,390 Though I do think that it's important to name 836 00:45:38,390 --> 00:45:40,720 the fact that this is work that we need to do. 837 00:45:40,720 --> 00:45:44,690 And in terms of finding support for that, 838 00:45:44,690 --> 00:45:48,420 we did a book group with adults-- 839 00:45:48,420 --> 00:45:50,967 there are a lot of people, as Lauren said, 840 00:45:50,967 --> 00:45:52,550 there's a lot of people who are really 841 00:45:52,550 --> 00:45:54,610 hungry for these conversations and they're really 842 00:45:54,610 --> 00:45:56,651 hungry to do this work, and they just don't quite 843 00:45:56,651 --> 00:45:59,940 know how to start or how to frame it. 844 00:45:59,940 --> 00:46:04,920 So I think having multiple things happening and addressing 845 00:46:04,920 --> 00:46:06,690 it in different ways for different parts 846 00:46:06,690 --> 00:46:08,530 of our population are really important. 847 00:46:08,530 --> 00:46:12,770 But having a book group for white adults to sit in a room, 848 00:46:12,770 --> 00:46:14,520 sit in their discomfort, work through some 849 00:46:14,520 --> 00:46:18,690 of this stuff, kind of step in and practice this language. 850 00:46:18,690 --> 00:46:23,410 And the covenant piece of that is-- one of the things 851 00:46:23,410 --> 00:46:25,560 that we did that I found incredibly helpful 852 00:46:25,560 --> 00:46:28,730 was creating a covenant specific for that environment, 853 00:46:28,730 --> 00:46:30,720 a covenant that names the fact that there 854 00:46:30,720 --> 00:46:37,040 is this range of inexperience in the room, and holds up ways 855 00:46:37,040 --> 00:46:40,740 to navigate safely. 856 00:46:40,740 --> 00:46:44,780 Speaking with "I" statements and stepping back and listening, 857 00:46:44,780 --> 00:46:47,710 and really actively hearing what people are saying 858 00:46:47,710 --> 00:46:50,440 and trying to understand where they're coming from 859 00:46:50,440 --> 00:46:51,612 are all really important. 860 00:46:51,612 --> 00:46:53,320 But the other thing that starts to happen 861 00:46:53,320 --> 00:46:55,600 when you have these small group interactions 862 00:46:55,600 --> 00:46:58,680 and these small opportunities is that then you 863 00:46:58,680 --> 00:47:00,970 have people that you can talk to, 864 00:47:00,970 --> 00:47:02,590 who you have that frame of reference. 865 00:47:02,590 --> 00:47:07,510 Similar to my story, once you start this conversation 866 00:47:07,510 --> 00:47:09,760 with somebody, you get to a different place with them 867 00:47:09,760 --> 00:47:12,160 where you can kind of jumped in and continue on 868 00:47:12,160 --> 00:47:13,700 and continue building. 869 00:47:13,700 --> 00:47:16,450 And when you start building micro communities 870 00:47:16,450 --> 00:47:19,320 in your congregation of people who are starting to develop 871 00:47:19,320 --> 00:47:23,470 that-- and starting to develop just the understanding 872 00:47:23,470 --> 00:47:27,570 and shared language, it becomes its own motivator 873 00:47:27,570 --> 00:47:28,710 and it moves forward. 874 00:47:28,710 --> 00:47:32,620 So that original book group now has a second book group, 875 00:47:32,620 --> 00:47:34,070 but then they're are also stepping 876 00:47:34,070 --> 00:47:38,030 into other conversations in the congregation and it spreads. 877 00:47:38,030 --> 00:47:40,650 So I don't know exactly how to say that articulately, 878 00:47:40,650 --> 00:47:43,974 but having-- 879 00:47:43,974 --> 00:47:45,640 Elizabeth Nguyen: I just want to lift up 880 00:47:45,640 --> 00:47:47,430 a few things from the chat box. 881 00:47:47,430 --> 00:47:51,120 Katie's asking about a curriculum for adults 882 00:47:51,120 --> 00:47:54,770 and building the world we dream about is 883 00:47:54,770 --> 00:47:59,930 one that-- many sessions, but the sessions can be picked. 884 00:47:59,930 --> 00:48:02,610 You can view a couple of sessions of that. 885 00:48:02,610 --> 00:48:05,430 That's just one to add to that. 886 00:48:05,430 --> 00:48:07,960 And then I want to lift up-- there's a lot of resources 887 00:48:07,960 --> 00:48:12,130 that we'll make sure go out over email also in the chat box. 888 00:48:12,130 --> 00:48:15,660 But I want to lift up Ariel's question for Sheila, 889 00:48:15,660 --> 00:48:18,010 can you talk a bit more about the reactions 890 00:48:18,010 --> 00:48:21,410 you got when you directly addressed issues, particularly 891 00:48:21,410 --> 00:48:25,320 of people calling people of color by the same name 892 00:48:25,320 --> 00:48:31,600 or employing stereotypes when addressing staff 893 00:48:31,600 --> 00:48:35,550 people of the congregation? 894 00:48:35,550 --> 00:48:38,060 Sheila Schuh: Well, the membership person 895 00:48:38,060 --> 00:48:40,950 who I talked to in terms of the visitor piece 896 00:48:40,950 --> 00:48:44,140 was very open to do that work with volunteers 897 00:48:44,140 --> 00:48:47,100 who greet people at the door. 898 00:48:47,100 --> 00:48:50,500 So I kind of left it to her to deal with that 899 00:48:50,500 --> 00:48:55,330 and she was very open and receptive to doing that work. 900 00:48:55,330 --> 00:48:59,480 For me, I think the congregation, 901 00:48:59,480 --> 00:49:01,820 when I preached about that situation, 902 00:49:01,820 --> 00:49:06,080 I think the congregation was shocked. 903 00:49:06,080 --> 00:49:11,190 And as I said before, the reaction was, all of a sudden, 904 00:49:11,190 --> 00:49:15,330 when you name it and you say, this is what's existing, 905 00:49:15,330 --> 00:49:18,950 then the people who are experiencing the pain of it 906 00:49:18,950 --> 00:49:22,530 actually are able to talk more about it. 907 00:49:22,530 --> 00:49:26,230 So for me, it started to open up at least a small amount 908 00:49:26,230 --> 00:49:29,190 of conversation between people who are suffering 909 00:49:29,190 --> 00:49:33,320 from that kind of labeling to at least come to me or to someone 910 00:49:33,320 --> 00:49:38,700 else that they knew that would have the courage to say, 911 00:49:38,700 --> 00:49:40,160 this isn't OK with me. 912 00:49:40,160 --> 00:49:44,170 So I hope that answers the question. 913 00:49:44,170 --> 00:49:46,330 I'm dealing with it with the children 914 00:49:46,330 --> 00:49:48,060 because that's the only place where I 915 00:49:48,060 --> 00:49:49,470 have that direct kind of thing. 916 00:49:49,470 --> 00:49:52,720 I'm not with the adults as much as probably some other 917 00:49:52,720 --> 00:49:56,110 DRE's are, other than my parents group. 918 00:49:56,110 --> 00:49:57,610 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you, Sheila. 919 00:49:57,610 --> 00:50:01,370 I know, as a person growing up as a person of color 920 00:50:01,370 --> 00:50:06,800 in our movement, for me, I always knew the differences 921 00:50:06,800 --> 00:50:07,810 that I experienced. 922 00:50:07,810 --> 00:50:10,340 I just never knew whether a religious educator 923 00:50:10,340 --> 00:50:14,780 or a minister was a safe person for me to name those around. 924 00:50:14,780 --> 00:50:19,960 And so, to have someone in a position of power name that, 925 00:50:19,960 --> 00:50:23,680 gave me permission to then name it, as well. 926 00:50:23,680 --> 00:50:28,050 And also, I think there is a spiritual hardship that 927 00:50:28,050 --> 00:50:30,750 happens where young people of color, 928 00:50:30,750 --> 00:50:33,960 people of color in general, wonder, is it me? 929 00:50:33,960 --> 00:50:36,840 Did I create the situation where someone 930 00:50:36,840 --> 00:50:41,240 thinks I'm the same as this other young Asian child? 931 00:50:41,240 --> 00:50:44,120 And so for us to say, no, you didn't 932 00:50:44,120 --> 00:50:48,250 create that, I think that it's important work. 933 00:50:48,250 --> 00:50:50,500 And I'll just say-- I see you have something to add, 934 00:50:50,500 --> 00:50:54,890 Jamil-- the other thing I'll add, 935 00:50:54,890 --> 00:50:57,590 a while back, there was things in the chat about race 936 00:50:57,590 --> 00:50:59,460 as a social construct. 937 00:50:59,460 --> 00:51:02,090 And something that I sometimes find helpful 938 00:51:02,090 --> 00:51:06,500 is just to name that, yes, there is a spiritual truth 939 00:51:06,500 --> 00:51:12,250 that we are all one and race is a construct created over time. 940 00:51:12,250 --> 00:51:15,310 And there's also a truth of this world, 941 00:51:15,310 --> 00:51:18,810 which is that white supremacy does violence 942 00:51:18,810 --> 00:51:20,440 to people of color. 943 00:51:20,440 --> 00:51:23,060 And we have the spiritual tools to grapple 944 00:51:23,060 --> 00:51:26,160 with both those truths but we can't 945 00:51:26,160 --> 00:51:29,820 ignore the violence of white supremacy 946 00:51:29,820 --> 00:51:32,460 because we also know that there's a spiritual truth 947 00:51:32,460 --> 00:51:36,000 that we are all connected. 948 00:51:36,000 --> 00:51:38,660 Jamil, I see you have things to add. 949 00:51:38,660 --> 00:51:41,670 Jamil Scott: Elizabeth, to sort of-- I have two things, 950 00:51:41,670 --> 00:51:46,240 but to piggyback on the fact of knowing that you have 951 00:51:46,240 --> 00:51:52,200 a DRE or a minister that will be able to hold 952 00:51:52,200 --> 00:51:55,930 your particular identity and your experience is 953 00:51:55,930 --> 00:51:57,240 very important. 954 00:51:57,240 --> 00:51:59,310 We just had the Martin Luther King 955 00:51:59,310 --> 00:52:05,520 Jr, MLK Con for our youth at my congregation, 956 00:52:05,520 --> 00:52:07,880 led by some amazing people. 957 00:52:07,880 --> 00:52:12,220 But predominantly, there was a significant number 958 00:52:12,220 --> 00:52:17,380 of persons of color there, me, Kenny Wiley and the youth 959 00:52:17,380 --> 00:52:20,420 coordinator at my congregation, Marcus Ryan. 960 00:52:20,420 --> 00:52:26,070 And having them there, I think, allowed something 961 00:52:26,070 --> 00:52:28,155 transformative to happen. 962 00:52:28,155 --> 00:52:30,980 It happened that we had these very empowered youth 963 00:52:30,980 --> 00:52:35,260 processes going on and that something 964 00:52:35,260 --> 00:52:38,460 that happened with-- without getting into details-- 965 00:52:38,460 --> 00:52:40,820 something had happened that seemed to silence, 966 00:52:40,820 --> 00:52:44,740 or that silenced, the voices of our youth of color. 967 00:52:44,740 --> 00:52:50,535 And had not been for the-- first of all, the acknowledgement 968 00:52:50,535 --> 00:52:52,980 of folks like Kenny Wiley, and also 969 00:52:52,980 --> 00:52:55,550 the comfort of those persons of color 970 00:52:55,550 --> 00:52:59,150 to then walk up to these people of color who were in power, 971 00:52:59,150 --> 00:53:01,480 had it not been for that, this transformation 972 00:53:01,480 --> 00:53:04,720 would not have happened where they said, no, this is not OK. 973 00:53:04,720 --> 00:53:07,630 We're going to caucus, decide exactly what we need to do, 974 00:53:07,630 --> 00:53:09,500 and come out and stand up for ourselves, 975 00:53:09,500 --> 00:53:11,920 and speak our truth to the whole community, 976 00:53:11,920 --> 00:53:13,390 and transform the con. 977 00:53:13,390 --> 00:53:15,350 It was emotional for everyone there. 978 00:53:15,350 --> 00:53:18,410 But I think we cannot underestimate the importance 979 00:53:18,410 --> 00:53:22,510 of really encouraging people of color to take religious, 980 00:53:22,510 --> 00:53:25,710 professional positions, like DRE, like ministers. 981 00:53:25,710 --> 00:53:27,590 And if we don't have it, inviting them 982 00:53:27,590 --> 00:53:29,630 in when we're talking about these things, right? 983 00:53:29,630 --> 00:53:31,640 Particularly with our children and youth 984 00:53:31,640 --> 00:53:34,840 because there's a comfort level that a person of color 985 00:53:34,840 --> 00:53:37,080 might-- sometimes it's just a bridge. 986 00:53:37,080 --> 00:53:40,869 It's just to be able to at least speak up for the first time, 987 00:53:40,869 --> 00:53:42,785 that they will have with a person of color who 988 00:53:42,785 --> 00:53:45,420 was in leadership that they won't have with someone 989 00:53:45,420 --> 00:53:48,540 who looks different from them. 990 00:53:48,540 --> 00:53:51,170 The second one was [? Sarah ?] Kelly, I saw in her chat 991 00:53:51,170 --> 00:53:54,840 she was saying that her church has done a lot of work. 992 00:53:54,840 --> 00:53:56,500 They've done the parent work, they've 993 00:53:56,500 --> 00:54:00,660 done the work in small groups, the book groups-- 994 00:54:00,660 --> 00:54:02,240 and I'm filling this thing, too. 995 00:54:02,240 --> 00:54:04,120 We're all getting on the bandwagon 996 00:54:04,120 --> 00:54:06,680 and we're starting to do the work, but at some point 997 00:54:06,680 --> 00:54:10,770 I see in the future, it's going to be like, OK, next issue. 998 00:54:10,770 --> 00:54:14,022 It's just like with America, OK, next step. 999 00:54:14,022 --> 00:54:15,980 And I think this is what she's getting a sense, 1000 00:54:15,980 --> 00:54:18,160 is we've already talked about this, we've done this, 1001 00:54:18,160 --> 00:54:20,050 and now where do we move on? 1002 00:54:20,050 --> 00:54:23,195 I've really been contemplating in my spirit 1003 00:54:23,195 --> 00:54:25,980 a path, a religious path, a spiritual path, 1004 00:54:25,980 --> 00:54:29,270 particularly as a Buddhist, and in my contemplations 1005 00:54:29,270 --> 00:54:33,480 really integrating the path of racial justice in my life's 1006 00:54:33,480 --> 00:54:34,636 spiritual path. 1007 00:54:34,636 --> 00:54:36,010 And I think that that's something 1008 00:54:36,010 --> 00:54:40,389 that-- it can't just be a topical workshop based thing 1009 00:54:40,389 --> 00:54:41,430 that we're doing with it. 1010 00:54:41,430 --> 00:54:42,900 We can integrate this in the path 1011 00:54:42,900 --> 00:54:46,500 of Unitarian Universalism that becomes permanently 1012 00:54:46,500 --> 00:54:52,660 a part of it. 1013 00:54:52,660 --> 00:54:54,420 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you, Jamil. 1014 00:54:54,420 --> 00:54:55,711 Kirsten Hunter: It's like that. 1015 00:54:55,711 --> 00:54:59,240 It's that idea of a lens rather than its own isolated topic. 1016 00:54:59,240 --> 00:55:02,330 It's something that should be broad scope 1017 00:55:02,330 --> 00:55:04,810 and once it's there, it's present. 1018 00:55:04,810 --> 00:55:06,960 And I think that there is something awakening 1019 00:55:06,960 --> 00:55:13,550 about once you start to realize all of these subtle things that 1020 00:55:13,550 --> 00:55:16,580 exist, once you open your eyes to them, 1021 00:55:16,580 --> 00:55:18,220 it's very hard not to see them. 1022 00:55:18,220 --> 00:55:21,710 So I think there is a permanence to that work, 1023 00:55:21,710 --> 00:55:25,890 but I love the image of using-- the word-- using 1024 00:55:25,890 --> 00:55:32,960 a lens of racial awareness, of racial justice, that you will 1025 00:55:32,960 --> 00:55:35,680 forever be looking through this lens, now, going forward, 1026 00:55:35,680 --> 00:55:38,750 rather than something that's a subject that you've handled 1027 00:55:38,750 --> 00:55:40,280 and now it's up on the shelf and we 1028 00:55:40,280 --> 00:55:42,700 can move on to something new. 1029 00:55:42,700 --> 00:55:43,340 Thanks, Jamil. 1030 00:55:43,340 --> 00:55:45,580 I really appreciate that. 1031 00:55:45,580 --> 00:55:47,080 Sheila Schuh: I know what you meant. 1032 00:55:47,080 --> 00:55:49,440 We had a Mark Morrison-Reed come and talk 1033 00:55:49,440 --> 00:55:52,840 about ritual and the role in ritual 1034 00:55:52,840 --> 00:55:57,580 of being racially conscious and planning worship. 1035 00:55:57,580 --> 00:55:59,270 That's a whole other story. 1036 00:55:59,270 --> 00:56:02,230 In terms of a through line, you look at your worship, 1037 00:56:02,230 --> 00:56:04,520 even with children, how welcoming 1038 00:56:04,520 --> 00:56:06,880 is that to people of color? 1039 00:56:06,880 --> 00:56:08,500 It's a really hard thing. 1040 00:56:08,500 --> 00:56:11,350 Even for me, the hymns I select, the chants 1041 00:56:11,350 --> 00:56:15,350 we do, the stories we do, the little figurines 1042 00:56:15,350 --> 00:56:16,880 that are in the workshop room. 1043 00:56:16,880 --> 00:56:22,530 Everything across the board is just-- that's constant work. 1044 00:56:22,530 --> 00:56:26,414 It's constant. 1045 00:56:26,414 --> 00:56:27,580 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you. 1046 00:56:27,580 --> 00:56:29,780 I'll just lift up a few more things 1047 00:56:29,780 --> 00:56:31,830 that are in the chat box. 1048 00:56:31,830 --> 00:56:35,600 Waking up white, a lot of folks by Debbie Irving's book, 1049 00:56:35,600 --> 00:56:38,520 have found that helpful. 1050 00:56:38,520 --> 00:56:42,190 Some of Robin DiAngelo's work around white fragility. 1051 00:56:42,190 --> 00:56:49,650 Folks are lifting up a tapestry of faith program, what 1052 00:56:49,650 --> 00:56:54,120 we choose, ethics for UUs, particularly a workshop 1053 00:56:54,120 --> 00:57:01,150 on ethics of risk may be helpful to folks. 1054 00:57:01,150 --> 00:57:03,920 We're getting towards time, so we're 1055 00:57:03,920 --> 00:57:05,610 going to go ahead and wrap up but I just 1056 00:57:05,610 --> 00:57:07,155 want to reflect on the last point, 1057 00:57:07,155 --> 00:57:11,600 too, of if we have done a lot of programs, 1058 00:57:11,600 --> 00:57:13,670 and we have integrated a racial justice 1059 00:57:13,670 --> 00:57:17,320 framework and an understanding of racial identity exploration 1060 00:57:17,320 --> 00:57:21,050 as part of spiritual work into a lot of aspects 1061 00:57:21,050 --> 00:57:24,530 of congregational life, where do we go from there? 1062 00:57:24,530 --> 00:57:29,280 And I think I'm thinking more about your comment about how 1063 00:57:29,280 --> 00:57:33,900 even the way that we covenant needs to be anti-oppressive, 1064 00:57:33,900 --> 00:57:39,090 needs to be resistant, because our systems are so incredibly 1065 00:57:39,090 --> 00:57:44,810 strong and powerful, such that we enact these biases, 1066 00:57:44,810 --> 00:57:50,920 and the staff people that we work with enact these biases. 1067 00:57:50,920 --> 00:57:52,600 I'm struck by, what would it look 1068 00:57:52,600 --> 00:57:57,370 like if every piece of our spiritual and religious life 1069 00:57:57,370 --> 00:57:59,650 had gone through the transformative experience 1070 00:57:59,650 --> 00:58:01,200 that you were talking about, Lauren, 1071 00:58:01,200 --> 00:58:05,830 in terms of revisiting even covenant. 1072 00:58:05,830 --> 00:58:08,910 So I just want to share some closing words 1073 00:58:08,910 --> 00:58:12,290 and-- here, let's see if we can-- 1074 00:58:12,290 --> 00:58:15,430 I'll try to bring my face back on. 1075 00:58:15,430 --> 00:58:18,080 So before I share these, I just want to say, 1076 00:58:18,080 --> 00:58:21,100 so much gratitude to the four of you 1077 00:58:21,100 --> 00:58:24,410 and to the folks who've been sharing in the chat box. 1078 00:58:24,410 --> 00:58:29,500 I feel buoyed up and heartened, both in my spirit 1079 00:58:29,500 --> 00:58:32,000 and also in my mind in terms of what 1080 00:58:32,000 --> 00:58:35,810 this work looks like in our movement listening to you all. 1081 00:58:35,810 --> 00:58:38,530 So these words are by Joe Cherry, 1082 00:58:38,530 --> 00:58:41,120 Prayer for a Living in Tension. 1083 00:58:41,120 --> 00:58:43,440 "If we have any hope of transforming the world 1084 00:58:43,440 --> 00:58:46,090 and changing ourselves, we must be bold enough 1085 00:58:46,090 --> 00:58:49,340 to step into our discomfort, brave enough 1086 00:58:49,340 --> 00:58:53,170 to be clumsy there, loving enough to forgive ourselves 1087 00:58:53,170 --> 00:58:54,630 and others. 1088 00:58:54,630 --> 00:58:58,250 May we, as a people of faith, be granted the strength 1089 00:58:58,250 --> 00:59:07,060 to be so bold, so brave, and so loving." 1090 00:59:07,060 --> 00:59:09,790 A few announcements before I turn it over to Pat. 1091 00:59:09,790 --> 00:59:13,490 You may know that there's some programs for young adults, Grow 1092 00:59:13,490 --> 00:59:17,480 Racial Justice and Thrive Youth for youth of color, 1093 00:59:17,480 --> 00:59:21,590 and some folks have asked for a little more time 1094 00:59:21,590 --> 00:59:24,880 to arrange transportation and to connect with parents, 1095 00:59:24,880 --> 00:59:27,660 so we're actually going to extend the deadline to March 1. 1096 00:59:27,660 --> 00:59:29,880 So I know this says February 15, but if there 1097 00:59:29,880 --> 00:59:32,090 are folks who are still interested, 1098 00:59:32,090 --> 00:59:34,500 there is still time. 1099 00:59:34,500 --> 00:59:38,890 And then I'll turn it over to Pat to close us out. 1100 00:59:38,890 --> 00:59:40,480 Pat Kahn: Great, thank you, Elizabeth. 1101 00:59:40,480 --> 00:59:43,800 And once again, I know we keep saying it, 1102 00:59:43,800 --> 00:59:46,500 but thank you so much to all of our presenters 1103 00:59:46,500 --> 00:59:49,710 and to Elizabeth for all of the effort 1104 00:59:49,710 --> 00:59:52,650 and sharing that you've put into this. 1105 00:59:52,650 --> 00:59:54,370 We're just about done now, so I just 1106 00:59:54,370 --> 00:59:58,170 want to remind you that we will be doing this webinar again 1107 00:59:58,170 --> 01:00:02,260 tomorrow night at 9 o'clock Eastern time. 1108 01:00:02,260 --> 01:00:06,110 Next month, we'll continue our meet the UUA series 1109 01:00:06,110 --> 01:00:09,000 with Meet the Stewardship and Development Office. 1110 01:00:09,000 --> 01:00:13,190 And in April, we will hear from the ministry team 1111 01:00:13,190 --> 01:00:15,300 in the Charlottesville congregation 1112 01:00:15,300 --> 01:00:19,160 who are doing radical shared ministry. 1113 01:00:19,160 --> 01:00:23,330 That first radical was off, I'll add that back to the slide. 1114 01:00:23,330 --> 01:00:29,890 So you can go to the URL that's on the screen right now 1115 01:00:29,890 --> 01:00:34,910 and sign up now for any of those webinars. 1116 01:00:34,910 --> 01:00:39,360 We will be posting-- after tomorrow night's webinar, we 1117 01:00:39,360 --> 01:00:44,610 will post a recording as well as transcripts, resources, 1118 01:00:44,610 --> 01:00:46,870 and the slides, will all be posted online, 1119 01:00:46,870 --> 01:00:49,020 so you can go back anytime. 1120 01:00:49,020 --> 01:00:55,250 Thank you, once again, for coming. 1121 01:00:55,250 --> 01:00:57,100 Elizabeth Nguyen: Thank you, all. 1122 01:00:57,100 --> 01:01:00,267