Suggested Resources for Becoming Anti-Racist
By Bryan Tener
Anti-Racism Resources from United Methodist General Agencies
Our United Methodist general agencies have resources that can support and assist local congregational leaders and their churches in learning about issues of race, in working for justice, and in offering paths towards unity amid diversity. Available resources include those that highlight facts and statistics and help offer a picture of the disparities between races, book studies, online courses, and video series that help highlight individual growth areas and blind spots as well as shine a light on larger societal systemic issues.
The Good Neighbor Movement
The Good Neighbor Movement is an alternative spiritual community that is an inclusive and multiethnic network of missional communities called “city villages” led by people of color. It is a new church start affiliated with the Western North Carolina Conference of the UMC.
In the midst of racial strife in 2016, United Methodist Pastor Richie Butler hosted a community forum on policing and race relations. Out of that forum, Project Unity was born in order to address community and national divides and create unity through dialogue, community building events and activities, education and empowerment. A major focus is the program “Together We,” which provides the opportunities to bridge people together. Gathering the community and fostering conversation, creating a safe space to dialogue around issues that divide, to offer the opportunity to build relationships, and to learn and grow can transform lives and communities as it has done in Dallas. Who is creating space for conversations that bridge divides in your community? If these conversations are not yet taking place, who is it that you would need to reach out to in order to listen, partner, and begin to work together to offer experiences that can lead towards growth, healing, and wholeness? I encourage you to explore Project Unity and the Together We initiative along with the resources that have been lifted up throughout this document, and then begin to discern God’s call on you and your local church in how you can begin to build bridges within your community in ways that unite and lead to the fullness of life.
Churches Making a Difference
These churches are committing to an act a day to become anti-racist. I invite you to take a look at their examples of what they are doing and discern what this can look like in your congregation: