Multiracial Multicultural Glossary

Several months ago, while I sitting in an open community forum with local church folk, we began openly sharing some of the joys and challenges we faced as the world around us continues to become more diverse as peoples, races, ethnicities and/or cultures.  One such joy celebrated was that no matter the person, we each are capable of emitting a bit of divine light, love and grace despite one's journey or context.  Yet a challenge raised was that many were not always comfortable with talking beyond surface issues with folks, friend or foe, without some amount of fear that the "wrong" thing might be uttered.

It was out of such a grouping that the idea of this resource was birthed.  As an educator and agent of change committed to building bridges and making allies with those different from myself, I knew that sharing a common language was a key component to developing trust and safety within relationship.  Thus, we come to the purpose of this resource.  It is not the intent of this office or me to suggest that these definitions are to supersede what one has learned prior.  However, experience has taught me that if one is going to begin to deepen one's conversations beyond surface, some risk is required. 

Therefore, the goal of this glossary of definitions and terms is to equip leaders within our churches, lay and clergy, a tool with which to come to table together, imagining another world possible, and begin to breaking down some of the walls that separate us.  Many of the terms will be familiar.  Some may be brand new.   Still others may challenge or push buttons.  Nevertheless, these are the terms and definitions that are common place in many diversity workshops in which I have participated.

As this denomination intentionally marches forward, sharing a radically inclusive message of God’s extravagant love, know that for many having this packet to utilize with others whose intent is to better navigate through a diverse world and church will be life saving.  Hearts, minds and spirits will be stirred, perhaps even reborn, as faithful lives are deepened and fed. 

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