September 26, 2017
I never expected to say that or believe that about myself. But it’s true. I’m not a bigot; I have no thoughts of white supremacy. I detest it. Yet what I learned during the Undoing Institutional Racism (UIR) workshop is that I am racist. I am a part of the problem and unknowingly contribute to institutional racism. Only until I understand what racism is, can I begin to help tear down this awful mess we created.
Recently, Ann and I and three other Plymouth folks participated with 35 people in this two-day UIR workshop held at Plymouth. About half the participants were people of color, and they were loving and supportive. Having worked mostly for non-profits dedicated to helping disadvantaged people, I am humbled by their stories of discrimination and inability to feel safe. I learned about white privilege and the significant power I have. This is my burden to bear; it is my responsibility to learn the truth and find ways to undo racism. To achieve that goal, we as a church need to attend this workshop. It is transformational. You will come out the other side with hope and energy that we can change the world. It doesn’t happen overnight; racism will not be gone soon. This workshop offers a beginning to find the cause, understand the truth and accept the responsibility we all bear. I don’t know all the answers, but I do know that I have gained a greater understanding. Please contact the church office and register today for the next workshop, November 2-3 at Plymouth. (Scholarships available; call the church office.) It will change your life. –Jon Palmason
Vice Moderator, Lori Kaid also attended the recent workshop and shares her thoughts: “I found the workshop to be very powerful. I am an introspective thinker and the awareness this workshop brought was amazing. There was a lot of focus on historical facts and data that really make you think. Racism is real. White privilege is real. As a society, it’s interesting that we are afraid to talk about it and often don’t want to acknowledge the presence. But awareness and open dialogue are vital to making progress. I strongly recommend the workshop, and please come with an open mind, your honest reflection and true self.”Subscribe