View the videos on our social media pages: Instagram and Facebook. Then use the corresponding resources below to continue learning and dialoging. We recommend watching and discussing them in the following order:

1. Our Vision, shared on March 2, 2021

Key Takeaways:

True reconciliation starts with the Church because Jesus is the ultimate reconciler. 

In this video series we are explaining terminology and concepts that are often used in conversations around race and racism. By laying this foundation, we will all have common language which we can use while engaging in discussions and education moving forward. 

Each video is meant to be a starting point for reflection and discussion.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • What have my reactions been to the racial justice movement in general over the past year?

  • Consider terms related to racial justice that you have heard thrown around (white privilege, microaggression, systemic racism, etc.). How well do you understand these terms? Have you asked people who use them what they mean by them?

  • What questions do you still have concerning racial justice? How would you go about answering them?

2. Biblical Justice, shared on March 9, 2021

Key Takeaways:

The theme of justice weaves throughout the entire Bible. In order for us to know how to accurately name injustice and properly live into biblical justice, we have to define it according to Scripture.

Terms for “justice” and “righteousness” in the Bible carry with them the ideas of right-relationship, equity, restoration, and active participation toward the furthering of God’s goodness. The combination of biblical justice and righteousness means we are to live selflessly and generously, doing everything we can to establish that every person is treated well and injustices are corrected. The Church has the opportunity to continue the justice of the Lord along with care for the oppressed as a sign of the Spirit’s activity in us as a vision of God’s kingdom.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • What are my presumptions around the concept of justice? Are these presumptions informed by culture, experience, and/or Scripture?

  • How did the description of justice presented in the video challenge my preconceived notions of what justice is?

  • Besides what is mentioned in the video, what other parts of Scripture demonstrate God's justice and righteousness?

  • What are some areas of injustice I am already aware of?

  • What would it look like for me to step into those areas and work towards justice?

Further Resources:

Biblical Justice by The Bible Project

House of Learning podcast, episode 37: Biblical Justice

Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things by Ken Wytsma

Justice in Love by Nicholas Wolterstorff

Justice: Rights and Wrongs by Nicholas Wolterstorff

Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life: Doing Justice and Mercy

3. Race and Ethnicity, shared on March 16, 2021

Key Takeaways:

Race as a concept was designed to classify people with the end goal of dividing persons among racial lines.

Ethnicity refers to shared characteristics of cultural and national traditions. Ethnicity may not be as noticeable as race and some ethnicities consist of people with different skin colors.

Distinction and classification between races is not found in the Bible although ethnicity is.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • Was I explicitly taught the difference between race and ethnicity? When did I come to recognize my own race and/or ethnicity?

  • What assumptions and prejudices am I holding against certain races or cultures? Where may these have come from?

  • Consider Revelation 7:9. Does being a follower of Christ require us to lay down our racial and ethnic identities?

  • Where would I go to learn about other races and ethnicities? What resources do I have besides burdening people within those cultures to gain new insight and understanding of people who are different from me?

  • What is white culture? (It can be particularly difficult and oftentimes distressing for white people to step back and examine what their culture in America is. Many white people assume they have no culture. This will be explored more in a later video as well.)

Further Resources:

A History: The Construction of Race and Racism, Dismantling Racism Project, Western States Center

What does the Bible say about race? by J. Danny Hays, Ouachita Baptist University

Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum

"Slavery, Race, and Ideology in the United States of America" by Barbara Jeanne Fields

Foundations by Brownicity (This 'starter' course offers you an analytical framework for examining race and racism in the United States. You will be equipped with a historical, political and social context for understanding race/ism and how it is sustained.)

4. White Supremacy, shared on March 23, 2021

Key Takeaways:

White supremacy refers to the belief that white people are inherently superior to all other races.

White supremacy did not end with the abolition of slavery. It was embedded into the systems put into place throughout history and has lasting effects to this very moment.

There is no classification of race in Scripture since race was a relatively recent social construct.

Israel was not an ethnically singular nation nor were they chosen due to any inherent goodness or supremacy over any other group.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • Did it surprise you that there is more to white supremacy than burning crosses and wearing a white hood? What images or words are brought to mind when you first hear the words white supremacy?

  • Do you ever feel a sense of superiority to others based on something you do/did or because of an inherent characteristic you possess? Was it easily recognizable in the moment?

  • If white supremacy is not just being a member of the KKK or writing an explicitly racist law, what is it? How would it function at a governmental level? How would it function in a day to day relationship between a white and Black co-worker? How would it function within the church?

Further Resources:

White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert P. Jones

What is white supremacy? by Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (*as with anything not written from a Biblical perspective, chew the meat and spit out the bones)

The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby

American History, Volumes 1 & 2 by Thomas Kidd

5. White Privilege, shared on March 30, 2021

Key Takeaways:

White privilege does not mean that white people cannot be found across the lower economic class lines. It does not mean that all white people instantly have it easy because they are white.

White privilege refers to unseen and often unspoken privileges afforded to white people because race is a socially constructed idea designed around the concept that white, or ancestrally European, people are inherently superior to all other races.

White Privilege is not a moral thing. It does not make you morally good or bad to have white privilege. White privilege is an opportunity: will we leverage the place that we have in society to stand up for the racially marginalized and oppressed or will we go on denying the privilege and do nothing?

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • What was my initial reaction to hearing the term white privilege? Have my thoughts grown and changed as I learned more about white privilege?

  • Have I ever seen white privilege in action? (If not, consider why that is. Oftentimes, white people do not live near non-white people and therefore never have the opportunity to learn from people with experiences different from them.)

  • How would I explain white privilege to someone who says it does not exist?

  • If I am a white person (or white passing), what can I do to leverage my privilege to the betterment of our society?

Further Resources:

White Awake: An Honest Look at What it Means to be White by Daniel Hill

Waking up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving

White Like Me by Tim Wise

Whiteness Intensive: Understanding the construct of whiteness by Be The Bridge (Through a series of 8 courses taught by a diverse group of Be the Bridge educators you will come to understand the history of whiteness, how it has shaped systems, structures, relationships, and culture, as well as you personally.  This values-based course is suitable to use in any setting, while a faith-based component is also available if you would like to use the course in your church or other Christian faith space.)

6. Dominant/Majority Culture, shared on April 6, 2021

Key Takeaways:

Dominant culture, also referred to as majority culture, is the group whose members are in the majority or who wield more power than other groups in society. In maintaining dominance as a group, white people have normalized their cultural and societal preferences, making it the default. Society is organized to reproduce and reinforce white racial interests, preferences, and viewpoints. The out groups are more easily able to identify the dominant culture because they are in essence looking in towards the group to which they don’t belong.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • Am I part of the dominant culture?

  • Does a group have to be the majority to be the dominant culture? (Example to consider: apartheid in South Africa was upheld despite white people being the minority population)

  • What have I internalized as "normal" that may in fact not be typical in all places and are instead cultural preferences?

  • How can I dismantle these unconsciously learned internalizations?

7. Racism and Prejudice, shared on April 13, 2021

Key Takeaways:

Racism adapts.

The term racism has moved beyond the conscious and overt actions people typically associate with racism. Today racism is typically defined as power plus prejudice.

Any person can have prejudice against others. Prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

Not everyone can perpetuate racism, because non-white people have not historically had power over other races and therefore could not be racist. Reverse racism does not exist.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • How do people I agree with on racial justice issues define racism? How do people I disagree with on racial justice issues define racism?

  • What prejudices am I holding against certain races or cultures? Where may these have come from?

  • How has racism adapted throughout history? (Example: When segregated schools were outlawed, private schools allowed white people to continue sending their children to all white schools.)

  • Do I have a full grasp on the history of racism in America? How would I go about strengthening my knowledge?

Further Resources:

Foundations by Brownicity (This 'starter' course offers you an analytical framework for examining race and racism in the United States. You will be equipped with a historical, political and social context for understanding race/ism and how it is sustained.)

The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

8. Implicit Bias, shared on May 20, 2021

Key Takeaways:

Implicit Bias, also referred to as unconscious bias, is a term used to describe the attitudes or stereotypes we learn to associate with people or groups without our conscious knowledge.

Our brains commonly make generalizations and seek out patterns, so none of us are free from implicit or unconscious biases. Implicit biases are caught as well as explicitly taught. These biases are harmful to others as well as ourselves.

We need to question and unlearn our own implicit biases.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • Do this short mental exercise. Clear your mind. What are the first images that pop into your head when you read these words: janitor, thug, doctor, gang, rich, poor, judge.

    • What or who did you picture? Where did these images come from (culture, your experiences, etc.)? Interrogate each image and ask yourself why the word and the image have been connected in your brain.

  • How can I go about realizing what implicit biases I hold?

  • Once I've realized I have an implicit bias, what am I going to do to unlearn it and train my brain to go down a different neurological pathway?

  • Take a few of the implicit bias tests from Project Implicit here. Discuss your results with a group or journal about your results. (Note: These tests are not infallible but can offer insight.)

Further Resources:

Understanding Implicit Bias by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

Implict Bias by Perception Institute

9. Systemic Racism, shared on April 27, 2021

Key Takeaways:

Systemic Racism, also known as institutional racism or structural racism, refers to systems and structures that result in policies, practices, and procedures that manifest in disproportionately negative impacts on people of color.

Individual actors within the systems may not be racist and there may be no overtly racist written policies yet the outcomes are still unequal. Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • What’s the difference between personal prejudice and social disparity? If we all treated each other better, would that solve racism?

  • If we stopped noticing race, would it just go away?

  • Think of an institution or organization you are part of (work, school, church, social club). Do diversity efforts at your institution or organization tend to focus on interpersonal relations or on underlying structural conditions? Why do you believe that is?

  • Legal scholar John Powell has said, “The slick thing about whiteness is that you can reap all the benefits of a racist society without personally being racist.” How does this comment relate to systemic racism?

  • What’s the difference between assigning blame and acknowledging inequities or advantage?

  • If you aren’t personally racist, what responsibility do you have for changing society?

Further Resources:

What is Systemic Racism? Video Series by Race Forward

Why Talking About Systemic Racism can be Difficult for Evangelical Pastors

Explainer: what is systemic racism and institutional racism? by The Conversation

Forms of Racism: individual vs. systemic by Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre

26 simple charts to show friends and family who aren't convinced racism is still a problem in America by Business Insider

10. Colorblind Theory, shared on May 4, 2021

Key Takeaways:

Colorblind theory ignores racial inequality and people's lived experiences in our society. In order to fix a problem, we must first recognize that a problem exists and not pretend race has no impact on one another.

When writing Revelation 7:9, John did not ignore people’s race and ethnicities, but celebrated their presence as everyone in the room turned their face and attention toward the rightful praise of God. Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • Was I taught this colorblind theory as a child? What were the intentions behind it?

  • How can espousing a colorblind theory be harmful?

  • What would be more productive and loving than claiming to be colorblind?

Further Resources:

Why Colorblindness will NOT end racism (5 minute video), Decoded by MTV News

"Children will light up the world if we don’t keep them in the dark" TED Talk by Lucretia Berry, founder of Brownicity

The Many Shades of Colorblindness, article from Ohio State Insights

White parents teach their children to be colorblind. Here’s why that’s bad for everyone. by Megan R. Underhill

11. Good/Bad Binary, shared on May 11, 2021

Key Takeaways:

The Good/Bad Binary concept refers to the way people view the world. We are surrounded by binary thinking, always putting things in terms of two options that are mutually exclusive.

To adequately confront the issue of racism, we have to tear down the good-bad binary. Otherwise, we get stuck in a cycle of thinking that people are saying we are bad when really people are saying there is a problem and we want you to join us in recognizing it and eliminating it.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • What areas can I see the good/bad binary at play in my life? What types of thinking patterns do I have that are strictly black and white, this or that, with no consideration for outside factors?

  • How is the good/bad binary harmful to ourselves and others?

  • How does the good/bad binary continue racism?

  • How does the good/bad binary continue some people's resistance to accept racism is still present in our society?

Further Resources:

The Binary Code of Racism, TEDTalk by Tracey Benson

Chapter 5: The Good/Bad Binary of White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

12. Microaggressions, shared on May 18, 2021

Key Takeaways:

A microaggression is a verbal, nonverbal, or environmental slight, snub, or insult--whether intentional or unintentional--which communicates hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to people based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

Microaggressions reinforce to a person that they are an outsider, an anomaly, simply an “other”, or worse. These instances communicate a message that to assimilate to the majority culture, a white culture, is best.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • Have I witnessed or done some of the things used as examples of microaggressions in this video?

  • Do intentions matter? Does impact matter more? (Think of when you accidentally bump into someone. You say sorry despite not meaning to do it. You accept responsibility for the harm done no matter what you actually intended.)

  • Think of microaggressions as paper cuts or mosquito bites. One every once in a while is annoying but not too overwhelming. One everyday or every other day would become onerous and painful, never getting respite from the pain.

  • What could I do the next time I witness a microaggression?

  • What could I do the next time I make a mistake and commit a microaggression?

Further Resources:

"4 Ways Microaggressions Undermine Christian Unity" by Monique Duson, founder of The Center for Biblical Unity

"Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Is subtle bias harmless?" by Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D.

If Microaggressions Happened to White People, Decoded by MTV News

Eliminating Microaggressions: The Next Level of Inclusion, TEDTalk by Tiffany Alvoid, JD

13. Coded Language, shared on May 26, 2021

Key Takeaways:

Coded language is language that contains hidden racial messaging. Coded-language plays off racial stereotypes to deliver fear-based messaging and was initially made popular by political institutions. In effort to combat something as subtle and pervasive as coded-language, we must begin by being specific and intentional about who, what, and where when we speak. Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • Have you ever identified a situation where someone was saying something to a group of people without explicitly saying it? When, where, and why was this?

  • If not, how could you watch out for these situations?

  • What areas of life is coded language most likely to pop up?

  • What words or phrases do you use that might be coded language? What is stopping you from speaking plainly about the topic?

Further Resources:

Coded Language: Say What You Really Mean by Designing for Inclusion

"Recognizing that words have the power to harm, we commit to using more just language to describe places" by Jennifer S. Vey and Hanna Love, The Brookings Institution

Words Can Hurt: An Investigation into How Racially Coded Language Was Advanced in Ferguson to Promote a Conservative Agenda by John Phillip Burns, University of Washington

14. Code Switching, shared on June 1, 2021

Key Takeaways:

Code switching involves adjusting one’s style of speech, appearance, behavior, and expression in ways that will optimize the comfort of others in exchange for fair treatment, quality service, and employment opportunities. Research suggests that code-switching often occurs in spaces where negative stereotypes of Black people or any person of color run counter to what are considered norms for a specific environment. The norms are set by dominant/majority culture (see video 6).

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • Are you familiar with African American Vernacular English (AAVE)? Do a little research and discuss where you have heard it, how it has been portrayed, and what implicit biases surround it.

  • If you are white, consider the norms of speech set by dominant culture. What are your thoughts when someone breaks these norms?

  • What does it mean to "talk/speak white"? What does this imply?

  • Does the way someone speaks actually indicate their ability to perform a job?

  • What would a society where code-switching was unnecessary look like?

Further Resources:

Code-Switching (4 minute video) by The Language & Life Project

Being Black—but Not Too Black—in the Workplace by Adia Harvey Wingfield, The Atlantic

The Costs of Code-Switching by Courtney L. McCluney, Kathrina Robotham, Serenity Lee, Richard Smith, and Myles Durkee, Harvard Business Review

Code-Switching Is Not Trying to Fit in to White Culture, It’s Surviving It by Ida Harris, Yes! Solutions Journalism

The Cost of Code Switching, TEDTalk by Chandra Arthur

15. White Fragility, shared on June 8, 2021

Key Takeaways:

White fragility refers to the defensive unease white people experience and then convey when presented with information about racial disparity and injustice, and the history of racism in America that lead us to the discrimination still alive and well today.

White fragility can be expressed through feelings of being judged or attacked, responding with arguments or tears, and claims of “having a Black friend,” “not being racist,” or “having good intentions.” These reactions are linked with our frequently unspoken good/bad binary (see video 11).

As Paul puts it in Colossians 4:6, when we respond with grace and compassion amidst the discomfort, we allow our speech to be seasoned with salt so that we know how to move forward in the important and necessary conversations of reconciliation.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • If you are white, what were your initial reactions to learning about racism and being confronted with the reality that racism has deep effects on people's lives today?

    • What topics are still uncomfortable in this conversation for you? How do you work through it?

  • What might it look/sound like to walk alongside someone who is exhibiting white fragility as they reckon with racism in our culture? How could you encourage them while also remaining firm in the truth?

  • Think of a time you have experienced someone white being fragile. What are the typical responses and talking points? What would be the most helpful way to respond in a situation like this?

  • Why is it important to push through fragility? What is on the other side of fragility that makes it worth the initial unease?

  • In other contexts, what skills and approaches are needed to have tough conversations? Are these the same skills and approaches needed for conversations surrounding race?

Further Resources:

Seeing White Fragility (6 minute video) by RISE District

How to Have a Productive Conversation About Race by The Annie E. Casey Foundation

The 10 R’s of Talking About Race: How to Have Meaningful Conversations by Dwight Smith, NETImpact

16. Non-Racist vs. Anti-Racist, shared on June 16, 2021

Key Takeaways:

It can be unhelpful to combat racism by claiming we are for unity, community, and reconciliation, because the church has long espoused these values while also contributing to systemic racism. Thus, we have to change our language so our actions will follow. Labeling ourselves as non-racist really lets us off the hook from taking action. Taking up the title of an anti-racist does not mean we won’t make mistakes, but it does hold us accountable to real action.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • What images or words does "non-racist" conjure up for you? What about "anti-racist"?

    • What are the differences between these two terms?

  • What would it look and sound like for you to be an anti-racist?

Further Resources:

The difference between being not racist and being antiracist by Christina Capatides, CBS News, June 25, 2020

'Not Racist' Is Not Enough: Putting In The Work To Be Anti-Racist by NPR

How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice by Jemar Tisby

17. White Savior vs. White Ally, shared on June 22, 2021

Key Takeaways:

White saviorism, or white savior complex, is both unhelpful and dangerous. People who take on this identity recognize the disparities and injustices in our society, but try to save, visit, give to, or regulate the oppressed or other communities of which they are not a part, without seeking to understand them or their situation. In this position, the white savior becomes the main character of the narrative, which ends up further oppressing those they wish to serve.

Allies are those who support a cause with another in cooperation and partnership, and can also be referred to as advocates. Allies seek to know and love those they partner with, not viewing their involvement as a “reaching down” to help those lesser-than, but linking arms with fellow image-bearers to press onward. This allows for proper unity because white people are able to humbly listen and collaborate on a way forward. 

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • What are examples of behaviors of a white savior? Have you done some of these or seen them in action? Why are they unhelpful?

  • Think of films which are popular with white people but portray a white savior complex (The Help, Green Book, Hidden Figures, etc.). How do these perpetuate white saviorism?

  • What are the biggest disconnects between the activities that your ideal ally self would be doing and what you are actually spending your time and energy on? What are the drivers of this disconnect?

    • How motivated are you to make adjustments? What are examples of new choices you would need to make?

Further Resources:

The difference between being a savior and an ally by Whitney Alese

Screaming in the Silence: How to be an ally, not a savior, TEDTalk by Graciela Mohamedi

The White-Savior Industrial Complex by Teju Cole, The Atlantic

Guide to Being an Ally by Women of Color for Progress

18. Racial Reconciliation, shared on June 29, 2021

Key Takeaways:

Reconciliation is an ongoing spiritual process that involves forgiveness, repentance, and justice. It restores broken relationships and systems to the way God intended them to be. What we're trying to restore or reconcile is not the way we were, but the way God intended us to be. (2 Corinthians 5:18)

Our model for reconciliation is reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  • What does reconciliation look like in a broken friendship or marriage? How can we apply these same principles to racial justice?

  • Does reconciliation mean we forget the past? How do we move forward without pretending the pain never happened?

  • White reconcilers: Think about a time someone wronged you. How did you feel? Did you want to mend this relationship? What made it easier to reconcile?

    • Apply these thoughts and feelings to the larger context of an entire people group who is oppressed. Why might there be so many mixed feelings about reconciling?

Further Resources:

A Conversation with Brenda Salter McNeil About Reconciling God's Family. At the Table by Seattle Pacific University

The Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0: Moving Communities Into Unity, Wholeness, and Justice by Brenda Salter McNeil