This is one of the most challenging, inviting, stimulating, supportive groups I’ve ever been part of.
I believe deeply in the Mission and the Goal, and will do my part – as a white, European male – to uncover my responsibility towards understanding my role as a human being, with no one over or under me, and not allowing anyone to be over or under me. I will work to do my part to dismantle structures that support racism, sexism, ageism, and all the other -isms that are wrapped up in our “social dna” and heretofore enabling some people to be treated as “Others” or “Less Than.”
There is no greater good than to uncover the unconscious predicates driving our actions in ways that hurt others. My role is to support all BIPOC individuals and groups with sincerity, compassion, understanding, honesty, equality and humanity. There is nothing less that I can do for my fellow people.
The Teachers and Guides, Kris Watson and Clare Twomey are outstanding. They understand the Path and challenge, and support all travelers to make this conscious journey towards spiritual, personal and social wholeness through dismantling racism and embracing humanity.
Spending time with others under the guidance and wisdom of Rev Kris and Clare in a multi-month deep-dive felt like a cosmic experience. More than once, it seemed that the feeling in the group (over Zoom) was that the veil had been pulled back and the insidious, horrifying face of white supremacy– which underlies and saturates every inch of our globe’s institutions– was revealed. Often, I would leave sessions with a new perspective on the way this word works and wondering how exactly I fit in it. More importantly, my own ethnic identity was being deconstructed and reconstructed– and the process continues. Being involved as a student with Nurturing Justice has compelled me to venture out and into my own ethnic self-understanding as a Venezuelan-born immigrant who came to the U.S. at the age four, the son of a Catholic, Venezuelan man and a Jewish, Curaçaon woman. I’ve been learning and re-learning how to see my own positionality in this vast, beautiful, terrible world– one in which so much damage and dehumanization has taken place to so many on account of their skin color– yet one in which we are each made in the image of God, a truth which has terribly beautiful implications for my generation and those to follow to undo this mess and build a better, more equitable world and society that truly understands what it means to celebrate the rich diversity of God’s humanity.
Rev. Doreen Forde, Corona Congregational Church:
This is exhausting, but necessary work. As leaders in the church, we need to engage in these lifelong conversations to learn the tools necessary to speak out and work towards dismantling the evils of racism.
Patti Picardi, Connecticut: My experience on this workshop has been one of revealing, unpacking, and equipping so that I can continue to do the work on myself. I’m grateful.
Revs Clare and Kris, thank you for your learnings and labors. You have planted many seeds. May God make them grow and magnify.
Rev. Moses Bollam, St. Paul’s Lutheran Evangelical Church: The resources were well planned and presented. I have not come across these things in readings in PhD program at union. Thanks for bringing in so many different inputs. This seminar was very informative, inspiring, and illuminating. The two-day seminar was intensive, interactive, and influential; the facilitators were supportive, encouraging, and sensitive towards all the participants. It was a highly interactive and experiential virtual seminar that has brought people from diverse backgrounds. It has exposed the evils of racism and helped me to understand the intersectionality of race, gender, caste, class, color, creed and additional systems and forms of oppression.
Rev. Susan Switzer, The Riverside Church NYC: Rev. Clare and Rev. Kris, thank you for this training. Yes, you began saying this is an inside job and a lifelong process! I’m grateful for this thoughtful facilitation created the space to share and be open and this is a life journey and a community in METRO to do this work together!
Rev. Mark Marsh, Victoria Congregational Church, NY
This journey has been good. Much more enlightening than past anti-racism training which usually was put together on the fly and in the reaction to a current affair. I like that this is one of the first anti-racism training that wanted European descent to actually speak and dialogue, not just sit and listen. The background material resources give a starting place to grow.
Rev. Kaji Dousa, Park Avenue Christian Church, NY:
I am so grateful for the love, care and attention that has gone into this important training. Nurturing Justice offers such a gift as we work, together, to turn away – for good – from the sin of racism. God bless their ministry, their work. Liberation is and can be ours! Thank you, Nurturing Justice, for giving us a glimpse of what is possible
Rev. Lynn Sexton, Sacred Fellowship Ministries, UCC:
This two-day workshop as a Sacred Conversation to End Racism has informed, educated and challenged me to examine the pillars of what I do as a black woman, and understand some reasons why I think the way I do about my blackness. I am not the same…
Rev. Ron Garner, Wantaugh Memorial Congregational Church, LI
As a sixty-nine-year-old white man I desperately needed this. I realize my journey from my white supremacy will never end.