About the Series
Building on the Next Right Action initiative, expert facilitators and trainers gathered by Team Dynamics will lead seven Tuesday evening workshops to explore critical concepts to equip us as champions for racial justice in our own lives, in our communities, and in our spiritual growth and development.
Series Learning Goals in Service to Unity’s Multicultural and Racial Healing Ends
This is a seven-part series. It is our intention that participants attend session one and/or two as prerequisite in order to participate in sessions three through seven. Additionally, we ask that you attend as many as your schedule allows. This is a sequential series and a cohort experience, with each session building on the previous session's concepts and learning. Sign-up is required for each session. An RSVP will be sent to confirm attendance.
All sessions are on Zoom, Tuesday evenings, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., September 15 – October 27, 2020. Each session will be hosted by Alfonso T. Wenker from Team Dynamics with various faculty participating throughout the series.
REGISTER FOR SESSION 1 • September 15: Identity + Bias
Explore how our beliefs are connected to our experiences of culture + identity and how those beliefs influence our actions. Faculty: Mark Pineda, Sara Wernick Schonwald
REGISTER FOR SESSION 2 • September 22: Intercultural Conflict Styles + Strategies
Explore conflict through the lens of culture. Understand your preferred conflict style and increase capacity to manage conflict across culture. Faculty: Sara Wernick Schonwald, Liz Loeb, Levi Weinhagen
REGISTER FOR SESSION 3 • September 29: Understanding + Utilizing Power
Power is an underlying force in relationships and organizations; however, we tend to treat power as a “have or have not.” This session explores power as ever present in all bodies. We will dive into the connections between position, identity and power and explore ways to responsibly exercise power toward equity goals. Faculty: Tyrai Bronson-Pruitt, Pearl Dobbins, Anil Hurkadli
REGISTER FOR SESSION 4 • October 6: Constructions of Race + Racism
Race impacts every relationship, system and interaction in our daily lives. While concepts of race are a social construct, the impacts (racism and white supremacy) are real in their consequences. This session allows participants to get grounded in their experience of race while noticing patterns and preference for whiteness. Faculty: Tyrai Bronson-Pruitt, Levi Weinhagen
REGISTER FOR SESSION 5 • October 13: Social Change + Social Movements
What are social movements? What makes movements move? How do we utilize this movement moment to create the transformational change we seek? Together we’ll unpack what are the elements of a movement to understand how each of us is situated in a movement. Faculty: Beth Zemsky
REGISTER FOR SESSION 6 • October 20: Organizing + Action
“But what can I do about it?” Building from the first five sessions, we’ll talk about how community organizing works in pursuit of justice and how to choose your actions wisely. Faculty: Liz Loeb, Trina Olson
REGISTER FOR SESSION 7 • October 27: Using these Tools in Your Practice
This will be an open, guided time to ask questions and test out ideas for application of the topics covered in sessions one through six. Faculty: Tyrai Bronson-Pruitt, Levi Weinhagen
Merrill Aldrich, On Behalf of the Beloved Community Communications Team
Anti-racism books are at the top of the best-seller lists this year. It seems we are wondering more urgently how to help in a way that is constructive and impactful. It’s a desire both to understand and to address questions about what we ought to be doing differently. This is also a conversation that has been ongoing at Unity Church, and our community is here to support one another as we decide what right action looks like.
Scholar Ibram X. Kendi describes parallel processes of introspection — critically examining our own assumptions, attitudes, and even vocabulary — and meaningful anti-racist action. He argues that the two activities could work together to move us past arguments of overtly held racist beliefs and into more effective actions against racist structures deeply embedded in our culture. So, what are some sustaining steps that we can take on these twin paths, working on ourselves (within) and in the world (beyond)?
First, the study of these issues is not in vain! Reading, watching, listening — learning — is absolutely helpful, especially as the result better informs our actions. A huge number of resources exist, and lately many folks have collected and listed and cataloged hundreds of them. Here is a sampling of the very tip of the iceberg:
If you have taken this look around, to get a handle on where you are and where others stand, you may want to consider some of these:
Consider the question of who is writing and speaking. For white people, myself included, white people talking to other white people on these topics can be a helpful way in, due to shared experience and perspective, but should not be the end point. Black, indigenous people, and people of color, while they should not be burdened with “explaining” racism, have done a tremendous amount of work putting this information out there. Seek that out and read it.
Finally, taking carefully considered and meaningful action is vital, and can take many forms:
Shelley Butler on behalf of the Beloved Community Staff Team
Two years ago, the Library and Bookstall Team, with the Beloved Community Staff Team, produced the "Anti-racism Collection" within Unity libraries. This list makes it easier to identify titles that speak to strengthening our anti-racism commitment and multicultural awareness. There are now nearly 180 books and links to online sources in that collection, including Bryan Stevenson's Ted Talk, "We Need to Talk About an Injustice." More recently, we created another collection called "Creative Writers of Color," which already has nearly 100 books. To access these collections, visit https://www.librarycat.org/lib/UnityChurch.
Two of the more recent titles are Diane Wilson's Beloved Child and Colson Whitehead's The Nickel Boys. Diane Wilson spoke about her new book, and her well-received earlier title, Spirit Car, at The Gathering retreat on January 25, 2020. The Nickel Boys is the Unity Church 2020 Congregation Read. There will be two opportunities to discuss this important and challenging book: Sunday, February 23, at 12:30 p.m., and/or Wednesday, February 26, at 7:15 p.m. (both discussions will be held at Unity Church).
Beloved Community Resources
Next Right Actions
Unity Justice Database
Team Dynamics House of Intersectionality
Anti-Racism Resources in the Unity Libraries Collection
Creative Writers of Color in Unity Libraries
The History of Race Relations and Unity Church, 1850-2005
Beloved Community Staff Team
In 2016, the Beloved Community Staff Team was formed at Unity Church to strengthen and coordinate Unity’s anti-racism and multi-cultural work, and to share the stories of this journey with the wider community. We commit to sharing the struggles, the questions, and the collaborations here at Unity and in the wider world of our faith and city. The current members of the team include Rev. KP Hong, Rev. Kathy Hurt, Barbara Hubbard, Drew Danielson, Laura Park, Angela Wilcox, Pauline Eichten, and Erika Sanders.