1/30/22 – Rev. Debbie Ingram, Executive Director of VIA, asked if we had personal experiences with racial bias. Our responses ranged from SNCC in the 1960s and 1970s, to being afraid to speak up, to returning to a fraught situation to discuss racist remarks.
5/31/21 – Laura asked how we experienced being born again in our racial justice journey? Was there a moment when you were transformed? Our responses revealed books we have read, friends and relatives who have been discriminated against, and courses we have taken. Together, we are on a journey of discovery about our inherent prejudice and unrecognized unkindness.
4/25/21 – Carl asked us how we were acting as our siblings’ keepers. We responded with books we’re reading, H.R.1, “For the People Act”, talks with friends, joint study groups, and a comment from Bishop Shannon McVean-Brown, “I am always hopeful that resurrection is just around the corner, no matter how distant it may seem… Today, it feels like progress and reconciliation is possible.”
3/21/21 – Mary Beth led us in a discussion about what we have noticed about BIPOC issues in Vermont. Three opportunities to act were offered: Ann N. explained VT ACLU’s plan for Reimagining Policing in Vermont; Ann O. suggested writing letters to state government about vaccinating inmates; and Virginia recommended sharing stimulus checks with BIPOC organizations. Details are included under the ACT section.
1/28/21 – Following worship on Sunday, January 10th, CCP members and friends were invited by Lay Leader, Lori D., to share their latest individual/group activities regarding Racial Injustice/White Supremacy as well as what they’ve noticed recently, thought, or felt about the topic. John O. mentioned plans to read/study the book Waking Up White: Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. “It’s a good book to read after we studied the history/cultural issues in “Caste”. This book points out how we are part of the problem.”
10/18/20 – Our discussion continued about new things we’ve read, listened to, or watched and how we are being changed. We agreed that learning about systemic racism is a way of taking action, and this was reflected when Barbara Jordan, who died later in October, told about her growing realization that racism exists in Vermont even though it is easy for many of us not to see it. She told a personal story about a grocery store situation faced by her bi-racial grandson. Racism is closer to home than she had thought.
9/20/20 – Our discussion expanded to include racial justice issues in Vermont. Marjorie reported meeting with the Burlington VIA Clergy Caucus and Mark Hughes of New Alpha Church and the Racial Justice Alliance to learn about the complex issue of Burlington police protests. Frank spoke about supporting Tabitha Moore, who heads the Vermont NAACP and was physically and verbally attacked. Read more about these issues in the ACT section below.
8/16/20 – Our third discussion began with Mary Beth talking about the concept of “tracking” that she learned in diversity training in the past. “What are you tracking?” the trainer would ask. “What are you seeing? What are you noticing?” An example of our increased awareness was Paul’s realization that we need more black nurses with whom patients who are “people of color” can relate and that it is difficult for black medical people to advance in their field.
7/19/20 – We continued our discussions and found new resources and opportunities to continue our understanding of racial justice. Knowing that many of us will be working to deepen our understanding and respond in active ways to this call for justice, we have updated this list of resources that folks at CCP have found helpful or would like to explore with others.
6/14/20 – Our discussions of racial justice began when many members of CCP met via Zoom to explore and discuss what we had been noticing and learning about racial justice following the killing of George Floyd and so many others. At this time, we surfaced resources for learning, deepening our knowledge and responding.