Friends General Conference

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An Unprogrammed Quaker Congregation Serving Southwestern Colorado, Northwestern New Mexico and Northeastern Arizona

Western Friend Online Converstation: Racism & Quaker Meetings

Public ContentAnyone can view this post
Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
"Workshop Room" of Western Friend Connect:
United States

You are invited to an online conversation:
Racism & Quaker Meetings

Together, we will explore ways to interrupt racism – both covert and overt forms of it. Most of the work against racism must be work of white people changing themselves, including White Quakers changing themselves.

Loosely, the agenda for this online conversation will be:

  1. Brief worship
  2. Introductions (recorded)
  3. A presentation of photos by Rob Roy Woodman (recorded) combined with private written reflections by participants (not recorded)
  4. A sharing of participants’ first memories of awareness of race (not recorded)
  5. A sharing of participants’ memories of awareness of racial biases affecting their Quaker Meetings (recorded)
  6. Brief worship

Thanks to these Friends from Pacific Yearly Meeting for helping me craft this agenda: Alvaro Alvarado, Olivia Henry, Sandy Kewman, Patricia Portillo, Rashaun Sourles, and Rob Roy Woodman. These Friends are not responsible for the end result, but I am grateful to them for the thoughts they shared with me. One that I would especially like to share with Friends Everywhere is this from Patricia Portillo:
“Whoever gets involved in the conversation should know that because people come from different levels of understanding, there can be moments when it is uncomfortable to share and to listen to what others have to say. It is however, time to do both: speak and listen to each other in spite of the discomfort. Out of those conversations comes a level of trust and bonding that will generate more contact and trust.”
Background readings
and video for this conversation:

  • The collection, Racism & Quaker Meetings – Quotations, provides points for reflection for Friends considering the influences of racism within the Religious Society of Friends.
  • The video, Don't Be a Bystander, offers helpful advice on ways to interrupt racism.
  • The article, Emancipation without Freedom, provides historic context for powerful impacts of racism in the U.S. today and offers advice to the Religious Society of Friends for opposing racism in the U.S.
  • The article, A Deeper Understanding of Racism, explores individual bias at the level of neuroscience and offers practical advice for overcoming racism on a personal level.

Mark your calendar for future conversations:

  • October 12, 2017 - The Quaker Past
  • in our Quaker Present
  • January 11, 2018 - Judging Vocal Ministry, or Not