The events of 2020 have unveiled the severe inequality in countries the world over, with disproportionate economic and social effects experienced by people of colour, in comparison to white people, due to COVID-19 crisis. End of May saw a resurgence in Black Lives Matter protest efforts by African-Americans and others in the USA in light of police brutality causing the deaths of Ahmaud Arberry, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and more innocent, unarmed African-Americans before them. These cases have unmasked the persistent systemic racial injustices of the USA society.
The BLM movement is reaching communities across the world as the issue of racial injustice resonates with people of colour on every continent. In South Africa stories of police brutality (Collins Khosa) and racial pain are bubbling up from wealthy schools to poor townships.
We have learnt that racism is not just conscious hatred for black people, but also socialised*, implicit bias** that happens on a subconscious level AND it is also the oppression of people of colour that is built into the systems and structures of our world. What does this second part mean? I am willing to work on my own heart and mind, but I am not so sure about how I can be part of putting right the unjust systems and structures.
Renewing my mind [Closed]
People of Colour are invited to this session in order to debrief their experience of the past month. We are conscious that old wounds have been opened and that new wounds have been inflicted. This is a space to be heard and connect with others on a similar journey, and also, to process how, together, people of colour can respond in this time.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will
is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12: 1-2
This verse speaks to the fact that conforming to the pattern of this world is likely, and that through Jesus we can be transformed by having our minds renewed. This applies to many things, including believing, on a subconscious level, the apartheid lie that “white is better and black is less”, which is another way of describing racism.
Growing up in SA we are socialised through a thousand images, interactions and influences to unknowingly and unintentionally hold racists views and attitudes. Even if we don’t have any conscious feelings of hate or dislike towards people of colour. Sadly, these subconscious thoughts still influence our words, actions and responses, and without meaning it, we can end up causing pain and harm to our friends and colleagues of colour.
The Holy Spirit can help us see our blind spots, and through Jesus’s death and resurrection we can repent and be freed to start living in a way that undoes the legacy of apartheid, thereby bringing restoration to ourselves, our relationships, our communities and our nation; in other words, to bring the kingdom of God to earth.
Join us as we explore:
So how have I become socialized to have some racist thoughts and attitudes?
How can I have these thoughts and not be conscious of them?
Ok, I can now recognise that these thoughts are there, but what do I do now?
Session 03 [Closed]
Parenting to raise colour brave children
As white parents, we want to raise a generation that does not perpetuate the racist sins of the present and past. We know that we have personal and spiritual work to pull out the roots of racism from our own hearts and minds. How do we raise kids that don’t develop roots of racism in the first place? Ignoring race and racism doesn’t work. We didn't get here by mistake, so we wont get out of it by chance. We need to be intentional.
Children are still shaped by the society that they live in. Unless we raise them to be aware of the racism around them, they will start taking on racist thoughts without being conscious about this.
Join us as we explore:
Why we, as white parents, should talk to our children about race?
How we, as white parents, should talk to our children about race?
The focus of this session will be on equipping white parents to engage with their children around race. We recognise that parents of colour have had no choice to but to engage with their children on these matters, however for many white parents (and all those who are raising or teaching children) this is new territory. All are welcome to attend.
*socialised: make (someone) behave in a way that is acceptable to their society
**implicit bias: unconscious attribution of particular qualities to a member of a certain social group
We will be accepting sign up until 7pm each Thursday. Please note Session 1 is for people who consider PBC their home church.
POC Debrief [Closed]
14 June 2020 start @ 44:33 Bevin Jacobs, a pastor at our church, preached a launching message for Courageous Conversations
21 June 2020 start @ 30:05 Craig
28 June 2020 start @ 26:42 Craig
Week to pause and reflect in life groups
29 June - 05 July
The Mercy and Justice Team are sensing that there is a need to pause and reflect before we continue with our online session. This means that the next Courageous Conversation will take place on Thursday 9 July and not this coming Thursday as originally scheduled.
Reflection is key to allowing us to consolidate some of what God has been doing, to allow some new truths to seep into our beings, and to allow God to speak to us personally about what we are being called to release, repent of, and also embrace.
Reflection is not a passive thing but rather its intentional, its listening, its not rushing on but staying with what
God has given us.
Dismantling racist systems and structures
We have learnt that racism is not just conscious hatred for black people, but also socialized, implicit bias that happens on a subconscious level AND it is also oppression of people of colour that is built into the systems and structures of our world. What does this second part mean? I am willing to work on my own heart and mind, but I am not so sure about how I can be part of putting right the unjust systems and structures.
Join us as we explore:
What are systems and structures?
How can one person dismantle unjust systems and structures?
How do I help other white people see?
I have started to see that I have been complicit in allowing racism to continue. I am working on my own internal implicit bias, and I feel I should be sharing my learnings with other white people. I have friends and family who I can now see are unintentionally (or intentionally) hurting people of colour. How do I talk to them about this?
Join us as we explore:
Why we should speak out?
When and how we should speak out?
What works and doesn’t work to help others to see?