Showing posts from October, 2020

Gratitude for Those Also on the Journey

  I posted on Facebook earlier today gratitude for those who are struggling with me and others for justice in an unjust world. A Native American friend responded with a heart and a comment, “It’s a heavy burden.” Yes, but with a community of people on the same journey, together we can make that burden lighter. The struggle in 2020 is an opportunity like I have never known in my lifetime for meaningful and positive change and for meaningful and positive relationships. For that, I am grateful.   This past week I lost someone being a friend who was unable to see the institutional racism inherent in a program he developed and implemented for more than a decade. I had been a part of that program for the last three years. But, with the help of friends, I saw the need to resign from further participation. In some ways it breaks my heart to let go of something that had been a big part of my work. But it also frees me for opportunities that are better. Dismantling racism is difficult. There are

What to do with White Fragility on the Road to Reparations?

This week was one of hope and struggle for me. Monday and Tuesday :   “Breathing New Life into our Nation: Repentance, Re-formation, Reparation”  was the theme of what I heard along with hundreds of others through social media from more than a dozen church leaders for the annual Christian Unity Gathering by the National Council of Churches. Both Black and White voices dove deeply into our need for confession, true repentance and making amends. As one speaker said, “Ain’t gonna happen sitting in the pews talking about it.” Example after example was given about work being done all grounded in Christian theology. Nearly every speaker and panelist warned that the first step required acknowledging that racism exists and the harm caused. They admonished pastors who are too timid and fearful of congregants leaving the church if they talk about racism. One said, “We don’t need more priests and pastors, we need more Christians.” I believe that a church not addressing racism at this time aft

My Brother, Loyd

  Loyd was the youngest of my five older brothers and six years older than me. He was smart, always getting awards. He, unlike me, got to go to school in town where he got a better education to prepare him for college. In 1963, he gave me a New English Version New Testament Bible; the first time I had seen a Bible in other than the King James Version. Reading it deepened my love of the Gospels. I went with him and his bride to the March on Washington and heard Martin Luther King, Jr., give his “I Have a Dream” speech. When he got his PhD in history from Cornell University, he was teaching at a Black college in Pine Bluff, Arkansas under a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship with the responsibility to recruit Blacks for Ivy League colleges. He wrote a book about World War II providing an economic and political overview of the war years. Loyd had rheumatic fever as a young child that I believe led him to be my mother’s favorite. I recall that on the day she died, she asked me not to tell Loyd that

Building Capacity for Resilience from Grieving

  Breathe.   With so much happening, sometimes we just need to remember to breathe. We are divided more than ever. Even those committed to work on justice have found themselves needing to step back, not able to face the controversy and persistence required for meaningful change.   Earlier today I listened to a recording of a panel speaking about the late John Lewis. What a loss. He had the ability to bring together stories, art and politics. Likewise, those of us on the front lines working for justice need to have the wisdom and courage to do the same so that undoing racism continues nationally and locally. John Lewis was criticized for having a political agenda. He admitted that he did. He said his political agenda was to make this country better. The Riverton Peace Mission also has a political agenda. It’s to make Riverton and surrounding areas a better community.   We have been through a lot in the last year. Nationally, along with 200,000+ deaths from COVID-19 we have headlin