WHAT WE'VE DONE
After the murder of George Floyd, many members of the parish reached out to our priest, Father Paul Klitzke, asking, "What can we do? What can be done?" In short order, Ascension's response was the formation of the Ascension Anti-Racism Task Force. The Task Force comprises Black and White parishioners and has held numerous activities, all designed to educate the congregation (and guests) and help them understand the challenges Black Americans face daily. For example, we've conducted interactive studies of books by such noted authors as Dr. Ibram Kendi (How to be an Antiracist), Dr. Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility), and the Rev. Dr. Michael Waters (multiple books). We've also hosted conversations with the Dallas Police Department and Lake Highlands Area Mothers Against Racism (LHAMAR). A clothing drive for recently released incarcerated men yielded a van full of men's clothing for One Man's Treasure, a local non-profit dedicated to helping less fortunate men in the Dallas area. A Little Diversity Library was erected on the Ascension campus, which contains books for readers of all ages. All are welcome to check out the library and take books to read and return.
A partnership with St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church and LHAMAR, allowed us to welcome back the Rev. Dr. Waters for a five-week interactive Zoom seminar entitled "Race in America-Makes Me Wanna Holler." This informative and well-received series traced systemic racism in the United States from the era of slavery to the present. Dr. Waters exposed startling discrepancies in the treatment of Black Americans in areas that include housing, education, health care, and job opportunities.
WHAT CAN I DO?
In response to many questions about what we can do to make a difference, the Task Force hosted a discussion on how individuals can be effective advocates for change.
2022 ACTION PLANS
The Task Force kicked off 2022 with two drives geared to benefit those in need. Two carloads of women’s and men’s clothing were collected in February. These items will help recently incarcerated persons have appropriate clothing to wear to job interviews as they return to society in general. In March a drive was held to collect women’s accessories which also yielded two carloads of jewelry, purses, scarves, and shoes which were delivered to Attitudes and Attire, a local non-profit that assists women in need.
During the rest of 2022 we plan to host a variety of events celebrating black culture and/or encouraging a deeper understanding of inequity in our nation and how each of us can make a difference. To be added to the Task Force’s email list, CLICK HERE.