Intersections - Racism and ...

The concept of racism involves a value judgment. Because this term is so inherently value-laden, most people tend to restrict their understanding of racism to easily identifiable individual racist acts. This approach fails to acknowledge the far reaching impact of institutional or systemic racism that result from decisions and policies made by established and well respected institutions within society. Such instances of racism are subtle and less identifiable.

It is important that we work to understand the intersections of racism and the many other justice issues we are concerned about. How does racism intersect with issues like poverty, voting rights or environmental justice? Through prayer and reflection we can learn to understand the issue of racial justice in a more holistic way.

*New* Lent and the Doctrine of Discovery

The Lenten season is a time of repentance, reflection, and preparation for Easter. Therefore, it is fitting to continue on the journey of Sacred Conversations on Race during this season to deepen our understanding of repentance from racism.  The Doctrine of Discovery is a major foundation upon which many forms of institutional racism against Native Americans is built. For the five Sundays in Lent, the United Church of Christ has created a series of reflections on selected lectionary texts, using the lens of the doctrine of discovery. We invite you to engage with them as you prepare to the encounter the risen Christ anew this Easter.

Exploring the Intersections

To deepen the Sacred Conversation on Race and learn how race intersects with many justice issues, a FREE and new resource for congregational use - the "Race and ..." series is NOW available [click HERE for flyer].

These 2-page, easy-to-read fact sheets include stories, examples, prayer, Scriptures, reflection and engaging questions to assist local churches in connecting the dots between faith experience, racial justices and church life.

Click on the following links to download the "Race and ..." resources:

Race and Voting Rights

Police in riot gear, fire hoses and police dogs. These are some compelling images of what advocates faced when marching for the right to vote and an end to racial discrimination, in the streets of the 1950-60s Civil Rights Era. Today, the threats of voter suppression impacting communities of color remain real and present. (Read more.)

Race and Poverty

Race is an historical factor in economic inequity. With the end of  official discrimination, many assume that the economic playing field had been leveled. But we are less aware that racial inequities persist in economic practices today. (Read more.)

Race and the Environment

In 1982, the state of North Carolina chose a poor, mainly African-American community, Warren County, as the site of a toxic waste landfill to dispose of PCBs illegally dumped along the roadway of 14 counties. The residents of Warren County, N.C., enlisted the support of the United Church of Christ (UCC) Commission for Racial Justice (CRJ) to reject this toxic landfill through a campaign of nonviolent
civil disobedience. (Read more.)

Race and Public Education

Public education inequity is overlaid on the many injustices in housing, the economy, labor, transportation and social welfare, as well as inequity in the criminal justice system. Schools where several kinds of inequities converge often struggle to raise test scores. These systems work together to deny educational opportunity for particular racial groups of students. (Read more.)

Race and Criminal Justice

The U.S. incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world. It holds a quarter of the world’s prisoners. One in every 32 adults in the U.S. is under justice system control in prison, or probation or on parole. Among the currently 2.3 million men, women and youth in prison, there are a disproportionate number of people of color. (Read more.)

Race and Arab Americans

“Because you’re an Arab.” That is the reason given to an  Arab-American teacher in a Christian school by the principal, who told him that another teacher had been hired to replace him two days after the horrific 2001 terrorist attacks. More than 1000 incidents of hate crime and discrimination against Arab-Americans occurred in the first year after 9/11, according to the American-Arab  Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). (Read more.)

Race and Women's Issues

The intersections of race and women’s issues are numerous. The following are some examples of daily this daily reality.

Politcal Leadership - The recent election resulted in an all-time high of 20 women senators in the U.S. Congress. However, in this “Year of the Woman,” such new statistics actually reveals a racial bias in women’s access to power. The total absence of Black, Native American, and Latina women, except for Mazie Horono, a Japanese American from Hawaii, underlines the predominant White cultural norms in women’s leadership. (Read more.)

Race and Leadership

Statistics in June 2012 showed that people of color made up 36% of the labor force in the U.S. and 20% of business owners. These  numbers correlate with census data that 28% of the general  population are people of color. Yet, only about 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs are people of color. In 2012, less than 4% of the U.S. Congress were non-White Senators. Nonprofit organizations are guided by  boards made up of roughly 15% people of color on the average, and headed predominantly by White executive directors. (Read more.)

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Elizabeth Leung
Minister for Racial Justice
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3719
leunge@ucc.org