Dear USG members & friends,
In our USG community, many people who identify as white have a long history of and commitment to activism in support of civil rights & in opposition to racism. Our faith is now calling us to not only oppose racism, but also to dismantle the white supremacy culture that exists in our community and our country.
We have developed this White Anti-racism Discussion Group as a space for white people to express and process their thoughts and feelings about white supremacy culture and what is being asked of white people in this moment among themselves, without putting the burden of education on or creating a harmful space for people of color.
The first session of the White Anti-racism Discussion Group was be held Sunday October 10 at 1 pm on Zoom. Two more sessions are planned for November 7 & December 5. Individuals at USG who identify as “white” are invited to attend. The sessions will be led by Shobhi Kanal & Andrea Barsevick. The hope is that through these discussions we can educate ourselves about anti-racism and participate productively in widening the circle in the USG Community.
The sessions are designed to:
- allow us to process our concerns, anger, hurt, & confusion about white supremacy culture and what is being asked of white people at this moment
- educate ourselves about the impact of white supremacy culture on black people, indigenous people, & people of color as well as our church community, and,
- enable us to participate productively in dismantling white supremacy culture & creating an anti-racist community at USG.
Additional background of this proposal: As part of this greater call, white people are being educated and often called out for “microaggressions,” which are comments or behaviors, intentional or unintentional, that demean someone because of their identity. As a result, many white people have expressed feelings of anger, hurt, & confusion. Several individuals have requested a space for white people to express and process their thoughts and feelings among themselves. The USG Board, Widening the Circle of Concern (WCC) group & several voices of people of color in the WCC meetings have publicly supported the idea of a place for white people to share & process their concerns as we work to become a truly anti-racist community.
These sessions were designed to respond to this need.
Join us at bit.ly/USGCaucus2021
With best regards,
Andrea Barsevick, USG Board President
Shobhi Kanal, USG Chair of Committee on Ministry