"Reconciliation is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes makes things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end, it is worthwhile because, in the end, only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing."
Bishop Desmond Tutu
Partially in response to recent murders of Black Americans, the Anti-Racism Task Force hosted bi-weekly sessions during the summer and fall to discuss Black American's life experiences and how individual and systemic racism has impacted their lives. To aid in our understanding, we studied two books, White Fragility, by Dr. Robin DiAngelo, and How to be an Antiracist, by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.
More than fifty people participated in lively discussions about how white Americans have enjoyed privileges not available to other Americans, and the discrimination that Black Americans have faced since the Civil War and continuing today solely due to their skin color. For many of the participants who are White Americans, these discussions were both enlightening and heart-breaking. In small group sessions, Black participants shared examples of how they have been treated differently from similarly situated White Americans in education, healthcare, work, shopping, access to loans, and other common life experiences, as well as in interactions with police officers in minor traffic stops. White participants learned how microaggressions that may seem insignificant to them significantly impact Black Americans when combined with thousands of similar experiences.
We still have much to learn and more to discuss. In 2021 the Anti-Racism Task Force will host more sessions to continue the discussion. We will learn more about systemic racism in America today and how we as individuals and groups, can promote equity for all Americans. To learn more, click the link below for a list of organizations, movies, TV series, podcasts, books, and other resources.
The Episcopal Church defines racial reconciliation as the spiritual practice of seeking loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with God and one another, and striving to heal and transform injustice and brokenness in ourselves, our communities, institutions, and society.
Below is a video from our July 2020 gathering. (The later sessions were not recorded because they primarily consisted of small group breakout sessions.)
The Ascension Anti-Racism Task Force is composed of Black and White members of our church. Our mission is to support Ascension's efforts to educate and build awareness among others regarding the challenges Black people face every day, based solely on their ethnicity.
OUR WORK IN 2020
In March and April, Ascension hosted five presentations by representatives of diverse communities in the Dallas metropolitan area.
Love Wins LBGTQ Ministry
Want to help LGBTQ Christians and seekers at Ascension feel welcomed and at home? Love Wins is an inclusion ministry – a place where LGBTQ+ Episcopalians and newcomers, as well as friends and allies, gather for fellowship, mutual encouragement, and to advocate for radical welcome and full inclusion. Interested in learning more? Contact Annelies Moeser.