The powerful rewards of doing the hard work of undoing racism

Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism

Introduction

In Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s article, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism”, fundamental issues of racism are discussed. Throughout the month of April, we have been examining this article.

The first week we looked at the reasons why white people can so easily ignore the issue of racism and why white people aren’t comfortable talking about racism as it exists in reality–that is as a systematic reality.  The second week we looked at the ways Dr. DiAngelo suggests white people might build resilience and strength to do the work of anti-racism over the long haul.

Finally, we will take an encouraging look at how doing the hard work of facing our racism is a powerful and rewarding experience.  Dr. DiAngelo notes that “ ‘Getting it’ when it comes to race and racism challenges our very identities as good white people. It’s an ongoing and often painful process of seeking to uncover our socialization at its very roots. It asks us to rebuild this identity in new and often uncomfortable ways. But I can testify that it is also the most exciting, powerful, intellectually stimulating and emotionally fulfilling journey I have ever undertaken. It has impacted every aspect of my life—personal and professional.”

So, although the journey is challenging and difficult we know that it is worth it.  May we turn to God to give us the grace to persevere and grow to be the people God intended us to be.

 

Prayer for Centering

Dear God,
In our efforts to dismantle racism, we understand that we struggle not merely against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities – those institutions and systems that keep racism alive by perpetuating the lie that some members of the family are inferior and others superior.

Create in us a new mind and heart that will enable us to see brothers and sisters in the faces of those divided by racial categories.

Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlements to others.

Help us to create a Church and nation that embraces the hopes and fears of oppressed People of Color where we live, as well as those around the world.

Heal your family God, and make us one with you, in union with our brother Jesus, and empowered by your Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Written by the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team.

Invitation to Silence

HopefulnessThe Coventry Litany of Reconciliation

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
Father, forgive.

The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
Father, forgive.

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Father, forgive.

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Father, forgive.

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
Father, forgive.

The lust which dishonors the bodies of men, women and children,
Father, forgive.

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Father, forgive.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.

Amen. 

Weekly Reflection Questions:

1.    In what ways will my life improve if I stick with the hard work of facing my racism and dismantling it?  Will my life be more difficult in other ways?
2.    How can we act as an inspiration to others to face their own racisttendencies?
3.    Why is this difficult work so important in this particular time and place?

Upcoming Events:

CTION ALERT from Justice for Immigrants:
https://justiceforimmigrants.org/take-action/action-alerts/

SPRING MAKERS MARKET – Sunday, April 29 10 AM – 2:00 PM
Join Cathedral Squared Enterprise artisans in welcoming people of color and women- owned businesses selling homemade wares at our Spring Maker’s Market! Perfect place to shop for Mother’s Day, graduations, First Communions or other spring-time celebrations! To participate as a vendor, contact Sarah at guestservices@stjohncathedral.org for an application!

Film Screening: MILWAUKEE 53206, Monday, April 30th – 6 PM  – Come learn about the way incarceration affects Milwaukee’s poorest zip code, 53206, by watching this powerful documentary by Keith McQuirter with a conversation following about how our faith community can work toward transformational change in our City as it relates to incarceration.  Come to learn specifically about Transitional Jobs from individuals who have gone through the program!  RSVP to ShellyRoder@stjohncathedral.org or by calling 414-238-2710.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 – Statewide May Day March – Day without Latinx and Immigrants – No 287g.  10 AM, Cutler Park in Waukesha, WI.

Storytelling Event: ExFabula and All Saints are joining together to present an afternoon of storytelling.  The theme of the event is Building Bridges in a Divided World, stories and conversations about equity and race.  The event will be held at All Saints Catholic Church, 4051 N. 25th St., Milwaukee, WI on Sunday, May 6, 2018 from 12:30 – 2:30. It is free and open to the public.  Seating is limited. RSVP to reserve your seat.  You can register at the ExFabula website: www.exfabula.org/fello

Join us in person at the Cathedral Fridays at 12:15 PM for this 30 minute communal contemplative prayer with the intention of reconciling and healing racism in our city.

Feel free to pray privately wherever you are in solidarity with those gathered at the Cathedral if you are not able to join in person.

Brought to you by:
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Three Holy Women, Our Lady of Divine Providence, Old St. Mary’s, Saints Peter and Paul Human Concerns/Social Justice Commissions
Urban Ministry of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

For more information, please contact:
Anne Haines, Respect Life Director for Urban Ministry
hainesa@archmil.org
Andrew Musgrave, Director of Social Justice at Three Holy Women, Old St. Mary’s, Our Lady of Divine Providence and Saints Peter and Paul Parishes
musgravea@archmil.org
Shelly Roder, Director of Outreach Ministries at
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
shellyroder@stjohncathedral.org

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