Local RACIAL JUSTICE RESPONSES and in-depth RESOURCES

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Addressing events surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and resultant nationwide/global protests and demonstrations. Acknowledging the need for racial justice initiatives in our own hometowns as well as regionally and nationally.

Immediate Responses: RACIAL JUSTICE

  • Courageous Conversations: Racial Justice – 6-week dialogue series to be co-facilitated by Jackson Community Church and Jackson Public Library via Zoom on Wednesdays (June 17-July 22). Morning and afternoon sessions will be offered. RSVP to jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org if you’re interested in participating in the morning or afternoon sessions. We will share links as plans progress.
  • Additional programming is under consideration with the support of local advocates, the library, the church and other organizations. We will keep you posted.
  • Local organizers and educators:
    • NH Listens: Carsey School of Public Policy
    • World Fellowship Center also organizes and educates in the valley. More info.
    • Reading lists available through local librayr coop: In an effort to provide further materials, the coop libraries (Jackson, Cook, Madison and Conway) have shared lists for adults, teens and children within our joint KOHA catalog on books across our collections on race, racism and anti-racism.  There is also a list pertaining specifically to children’s books at the Jackson Library on these vital topics.  Numerous online resources are also available.   Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair at the University of South Carolina, has created a list of Anti-Racism Resources for all ages and the National Museum of African American History & Culture has a page called Talking About Race.  While our statewide inter-library loan system remains on hold, if there are other books or informational resources you are looking for, we would like to hear from you so that we can best provide you with the materials you need. You can email us at staff@jacksonlibrary.org, send us a chat, or leave a voice message at 603-383-9731.

NH JUNETEENTH EVENTS: Facebook Page (all events collated at this site)

Become more informed about yourself:

Dive deep through other available resources. Some recommendations on different topics.

Starting-point to talk about race:


The NH Council of Churches has written letters and recommended next steps regarding racial justice responses to deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery,. See below.

The NH UCC offers this Theological Roundtable on Racial Justicehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iczYc42Y1Rw&feature=youtu.be. 

  • This video features reflections shared by The Rev. Gordon Rankin, Conference Minister, New Hampshire Conference, United Church of Christ (NHCUCC); and members of the NHCUCC Racial Justice Mission Group, Kira Morehouse, Member and Delegate, Brookside Congregational Church U.C.C., Manchester; Rev. John Gregory-Davis, Co-pastor, Meriden Congregational Church; Rev. Renee’ Rouse, Pastor, Northwood Congregational Church; Harriet Ward, Member, Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Brentwood-Kingston; and Rev. Dr. Dawn Berry, Member, First Congregational Church, UCC, Hopkinton, and Chair, Racial Justice Mission Group.

Recommended reading: Collected lists for different ages

  • NY Times: These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids
  • USA TodayBooks to Learn More About Anti-Racism
  • Embrace Race: 31 Books for Children about Race, Racism, and Resistance
  • Most lists will include these and many other books to get you started:
    • Fiction: The Hate U Giveby Angie Thomas
    • Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
    • How to Be an Antiracistby Ibram X. Kendi
    • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
    • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Learning about the social construct of ‘whiteness’ & race:

  • Scene On Radio presents Seeing White. A series on the history of whiteness as social construct in America.
  • People Talk about White Fragility with Dr. Robin DeAngelo (from White Fragility: Why Its Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
  • Watch PBS Frontline episodeA Class Divided about Jane Elliot’s 3rd-grade class in Iowa, and the exercise she used to teach them about prejudice, discrimination and implicit bias, by segregating blue-eyed and brown-eyed children.

History and experience of race in America:

Justice System, Policing, and Mass Incarceration:

Activism & Being an Ally:

Movies:

  • Netflix: 13th directed by Ava DuVernay offers documentary summarizing events and experiences since the 13th amendment was passed
  • Amazon Prime: I Am Not Your Negro features links between Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements through the work and words of James Baldwin, featuring the lives of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, and Medgar Evers
  • Disney: Zootopia by addresses racism and prejudice through animated animal narrative. Discussion guide to go with this film.
  • The Hate U Give on Hulu based on the book by Angie Thomas is about a black woman’s struggle to speak out when she witnesses the death of an unarmed friend killed by local police. Book discussion guide.

Churches and faith community resources:

Public policy bodies that are exploring and shaping equity initiatives and conversations in New Hampshire:

Other Organizations.
This list provided through a Jackson resident who is active on racial justice advocacy groups. “I invite you to join me in standing in solidarity with others who are organizing across the USA and the world for racial and social justice …”

  • NH UCC Racial Justice Mission Team: website. Sign up for their emails with recommendations on programming and engagement. The Purpose of the Racial Justice Mission Group is to awaken the NH Conference to issues of racial justice and equality within our churches, state, and country. We are called to be: LEARNERS in a community of mutual accountability studying the impact white privilege and the history of slavery has on racism; INTERRUPTERS of the continued cycle of racism; and  ALLIES with People of Color in challenging race-based injustice in the areas of criminal justice, environmental degradation, economic deprivation, and exclusion from full participation in our communities of faith.
  • White Mountain Action Network is organizing awareness and activism events. You can find them on Facebook or request to be added to their mailing list via white.mtn.action.network@gmail.com.
  • Black Lives Matter / North Conway Edition: See Facebook for organizer / contact info.
  • Poor People’s Campaign: Facebook | Website
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People / NAACP
  • Black Lives Matter: Seeks to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes by combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy.”
  • Girls for a Change: Supports Black girls and other girls of color and inspires them to visualize their bright futures and potential through discovery, development, and social change innovation in their communities.
  • Sistersong: Strengthens and amplifies the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.
  • The Essie Justice Group: Nonprofit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration.
  • Higher Heights: Building a national infrastructure to harness Black women’s political power and leadership potential.

This Week: Sept 2-Sept 9

This Week at Jackson Community Church
and Around Town

This week @ JCC: Mon-Fri: Star Island retreat, Wed: Fitness tune-up with Laurie McAleer, Thurs: Yoga with Anjali Rose, Sun: Gazebo led by Sandi & Eileen & Denise and trad’l worship with favorite songs & scripture with guest soloist Kevin O’Neill and start-up of church choir practice. Plus community events: Mon – covered bridge closing on weekdays, Tue – farmer’s market.

Note: Rev Gail Doktor will be on vacation through Sat, Sept 8. See below for coverage in case of pastoral care emergencies.

Continue reading “This Week: Sept 2-Sept 9”

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES for Youth & Families at Jackson Community Church

(See end of posting for summer intensives and international internships for youth & young adults. Fast-approaching deadlines [March 15, April, etc] for registration and applications or scholarships for some of these opportunities.)

THURSDAYS, Mar 15 & Mar 22

  • Soup & Ski with Family & Friends
    5pm • Parish Hall of Jackson Community Church. Gather with members and friends for soup supper.
    5:30/6pm •  Meet at church parking lot for evening XC ski. Optimal starting point to be determined. For those who able and interested, if weather permits, come on a ‘night ski’ on Jackson XC Center’s trails. Donations will be collected for Jackson Ski Touring Foundation. Bring your own head lamps, ski equipment, layers, and be prepared for outdoor conditions. Ski at your own risk. Bring friends! Open to everyone. All ages welcome.

FRI, MAR 23

  • Film Screening of “404 Not Found” & Soup Supper: Bowls for Homeless Teens in Mt Washington Valley
    5-7pm • Gibson Senior Center, North Conway. In collaboration with Clergy of the Eastern Slope and First Church of North Conway’s Missions Team, screening the film “404 Not Found” that highlights the homeless youth in NH.  Check out the film trailer @  404notfoundfilm.com.  Held in collaboration with Governor Sununu’s “Sleep Out”.  This is a valley issue and will take a valley solution.
  • “Sleep Out” (Stay-Up-Late or Sleep Over at Church)
    8pm, Mar 23 – 9am, Mar 24 • Jackson Community Church
    For youth & chaperones. Stay late at church. Or spend the night. To be held in solidarity with Gov Sununu’s “Sleep Out” event to raise awareness about homelessness. We will stay up late at Jackson Community Church with games and worship, learn about homelessness in the valley, make civic engagement posters. If some people stay overnight, we will wake up to have breakfast together. RSVP and permission slips required.

WED, APR 4: MLK Remembrance Bell Ringing

  • 6pm. • Front door of sanctuary, Jackson Community Church.
    Help ring the bell 39 times in memory of Martin Luther King Jr. This is a national vigil; learn more at www.MLK50Forward.org.

SAT, APR 7: New England Youth Environmental Justice Summit

  • 9am-4pm • Brookside Congregational Church, Manchester, NH
  • Jackson Community Church will cover the cost of registration and attendance. $20/day. RSVP to the church asap if you plan to attend, so that we can register you. Or let us know if you register separately, but plan to attend, so we can coordinate rides and reimbursement for attendance.
  • Rev Gail will attend summit and provide rides.
  • The Summit is open to all middle school, high school and college students; as well as teachers, mentors, pastors, lay leaders and advisors: and anyone interested in acquiring tools for facing the pressing moral issue of climate change.
  • Keynote Speakers:
    • Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Massachusetts Conference Minister, UCC
    • Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt, UCC Minister for Environmental Justice
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions include:
    • Pam Arifian, Director, UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center
    • Marla Marcum, Founder, Climate Disobedience Center
    • John Ungerleider, Professor, School of International Training
    • Jehann El-Bisi, PhD and Film Director, and Art Desmarais
    • Representatives from 350.org and other groups will lead a workshop on activism in climate change issues

SUN, APR 8: Road to Emmaus Hike

  • 9am • “Road to Emmaus” Walk. Meet at church for family hike if weather permits. Indoor activities available if weather turns

Note: Additional spring youth & family schedule to be announced. Expect outdoor youth & family activities every Sunday at 9am, beginning April 22.

FRI, APR 20-MON, APR 23: Ecumenical Advocacy Days

  • 1pm, Fri – 5pm, Mon • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington, D.C.-Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA.
    A WORLD UPROOTED: Responding to Migrants, Refugees and Displaced Peoples. A weekend of faith-rooted worship, learning and advocacy in our Nation’s capital – will focus on the uprootedness of our world. We will analyze current policy and envision ways to more fully and justly respond to the global and local needs of displaced communities. Together we will seek policy changes that advance hope and overcome the devastating impacts of conflict, climate change and corruption on God’s people. Ends with congressional advocacy day.

    • REGISTER – Early-bird registration rates available through March 17th. Register now.
    • SCHOLARSHIPS – Justice and Witness Ministries has designated funding for UCC young adults (ages 18-35) to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in 2018. Learn more and apply by March 23rd.
    • Travel costs and hotel accommodations are separate expenses.
    • Additional scholarships, such as Bushee-Thorne Scholarship, can be applied to this conference!

FRI, MAY 19 – SAT, MAY 20: Middle School Retreat

  • 3pm, Fri – 6pm, Sat • Ipswich, MA
    Spend weekend on retreat with Ipswich Middle School youth group. Stay overnight in sleeping bags at the church on Friday and return to Jackson on Saturday evening. RSVP to church by April 15, 2018  if interested.
YOUTH & YOUNG ADULT INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
through the UCC
A tuition-free program of the Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, the IFYI Fellowship is an all-expense paid interfaith immersion experience for young leaders (ages 15-19) providing an opportunity to meaningfully engage together with important global and local issues through the lens of their different religious, ethnic, cultural, economic, social and political backgrounds.

(Ages 21-29)
This Internship Programme stretches over an 18-month period, for four young people aged 21-29. Each intern is assigned to work for 12 months at the WCC offices in Geneva, Switzerland, in one of our many programme areas. This is then to be followed by a six-month work placement in the intern’s own country.
HORTON CENTER
FAMILY CAMP & YOUTH GROUP CAMP
Sun, July 1- Sat, July 7
Flexi-Week.: Come for the day or for a period of days.
  • Rev Gail & Chris Doktor will be deans of family camp.
  • Our youth can come for one day or an overnight!
  • Registration available here:
  • Scholarships such as Bushee-Thorne (for which applications already being considered as of April) can be applied to this camp.
  • Additional camp weeks are also available with focus on different skills such as archery, rock clibing, etc. Full schedule available here.
EASTERN REGIONAL YOUTH EVENT
July 19-22, 2018 

California University of PA, California, Pennsylvania
(grades 7 through 12 )
  • Join us as we worship, play, pray, learn, serve, sing and dream at the 2018 Eastern Regional Youth Event.
  • Stay up-to-date on event details through the event website or contact Ann Desrochers.
  • Scholarships from Bushee-Thorne (applications already being considered as of April) can be applied to this experience.

Sampling of the workshops that will be offered at ERYE.  Each participant will be able to attend 3 workshops. (Workshop list subject to change.)

  • Authentic Faith: The Wisdom of Not Knowing All the Answers
  • Becoming a Transgender AllyBuilding a Team – Playing a Game
  • Disabled God, Queer God: Understanding the Divine Through Identity
  • Disabled in Church: Struggles and Triumphs
  • Earth Avengers: Superheroes for the Planet
  • From Barbie to Wonder Woman!
  • How An Orphan In Mexico Inspired Thousands – And How He Can Inspire You.
  • How Can I Help My Community Prepare For And Respond To A Disaster?
  • Identity Bowling: Intersectionality through Music
  • Our Gender & Sexuality: Confusions and Questions and Wonder
  • Praying with Color, Clay, Beads and Ribbons
  • Praying with the Body
  • Sacred DanceStorytelling for Social Change
  • The Conflict Skills That Nobody Got (but everybody needs)This Is Really Happening
  • Tie-Dyed Faith: Revealing Your God-Colors
  • Walking the Labyrinth to Rejuvenate Your Spirit
  • Watershed Management

Reflections on idols & advocacy: Moses standing in the breach

In Exodus, Moses stood between Israel and G-d, when his people lost hope & trust and made an golden calf idol and G-d threatened to destroy them; Moses defended them and even made demands of G-d. Who do you identify with in this story? For whom will each of us speak? And what will we demand of G-d? Meanwhile, what idols are getting between us and our spiritual wellbeing, our connection to G-d, community and creation?

Standing In The Breach by Jackson Browne
And though the earth may tremble and our foundations crack
We will all assemble and we will build them back
And rush to save the lives remaining still within our reach
And try to put our world together standing in the breachSo many live in poverty while others live as kings
Though some may find peace
In the acceptance of all that living brings
I will never understand however they’ve prepared
How one life may be struck down and another life be sparedAnd though the earth may tremble and cast our works aside
And though our efforts resemble the fluctuating tide
We rise and fall with the trust and belief
That love redeems us each
And bend our backs and hearts together standing in the breach

You don’t know why it’s such a far cry
From the world this world could be
You don’t know why but you still try
For the world you wish to see
You don’t know how it will happen now
After all that’s come undone
But you know the change the world needs now
Is there, in everyone

The unpaid debts of history
The open wounds of time
The laws of human nature always tugging from behind
I want to think that the earth can heal
And that people might still learn
How to meet this world’s true challenges
And that the course we’re on could turn

And though the earth may tremble and the oceans pitch and rise
We will all assemble and we will lift our eyes
To the tasks that we know lie before us
And the power our prayers beseech
And cast our souls into the heavens, standing in the breach

You don’t know why it’s such a far cry
From the world this world could be
You don’t know why but you still try
For the world you wish to see
You don’t know how it’s going to happen now
After all that’s come undone
And you know the world you’re waiting for may not come
No it may not come
But you know the change the world needs now
Is there, in everyone


Idols Like Golden Calves: Feeding our Hungers

The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly human goal. — Pope Francis

You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating. — Anne Lamott

It happened, you see, after the war, when I saw people making money while the others were dying in the trenches. You saw it and you couldn’t do anything about it. Then later I was at the League of Nations, and there I saw the light. I really saw the world was ruled by the Golden Calf, by Mammon! Oh, no kidding! Implacably. Social consciousness certainly came to me late. —  Louis Ferdinand Céline

God’s green earth can no longer sustain itself for those who worship the golden calf. Those who have put this planet in jeopardy shall no longer live. We have been working hard for this day to come and we have help from every God-fearing being on this planet. Many will say they believe, when in their hearts, they truly worship Mammon. — Stephen Biro

Advocacy

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. — Winston Churchill

When we speak we are afraid our words are not welcomed. But when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak. — Audre Lorde

Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on. — Thurgood Marshall

Great thoughts speak only to the thoughful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind. — Theodore Roosevelt

I speak not for myself but for those without a voice. … those who have fought for their rights … their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated. — Malala Yousafzai

As an immigrant, I chose to live in America because it is one of the freest and most vibrant nations in the world. And as an immigrant, I feel an obligation to speak up for immigration policies that will keep America the most robust, creative and freedom-loving nation in the world. — Rupert Murdoch

Reflections on water & respite in hard times and places

As one commentator says, “there are many kinds of thirst.” Where do we find respite and rescue in the midst of dry, hard, troubled times? What are the wastelands of our lives? Where do signs of life surprise us in our personal and communal “desert places”?

You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst. — William Langewiesche
Water Water Water Wind Water Juan Felipe Herrera
water water water wind water
across the land shape of a torn heart
… again and again a new land edge emerges
a new people emerges where race and class and death
and life and water and tears and loss
and life and death destruction and life and tears
compassion and loss and a fire …
rumbles toward you all directions wherever
you are alive still

If you don’t die of thirst, there are blessings in the desert. You can be pulled into limitlessness, which we all yearn for, or you can do the beauty of minutiae, the scrimshaw of tiny and precise. The sky is your ocean, and the crystal silence will uplift you like great gospel music, or Neil Young. — Anne Lamott

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. —Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This is the sense of the desert hills, and there is room enough and time enough. — Mary Hunter Austin

Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water. — Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness–especially in the wilderness–you shall love [God]. — Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces

Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure. — Francis of Assisi

I alternate between thinking of the planet as home–dear and familiar stone hearth and garden–and as a hard land of exile in which we are all sojourners. — Annie Dillard

Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected … On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there … Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together. ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are

… there are no crows in the desert. What appear to be crows are ravens. You must examine the crow, however, before you can understand the raven. To forget the crow completely, as some have tried to do, would be like trying to understand the one who stayed without talking to the one who left. It is important to make note of who has left the desert. — Barry López, Desert Notes: Reflections in the Eye of a Raven

New Water
— Sharon Chmielarz
All those years—almost a hundred—
the farm had hard water.
Hard orange. Buckets lined in orange.
Sink and tub and toilet, too,
once they got running water.
And now, in less than a lifetime,
just by changing the well’s location,
in the same yard, mind you,
the water’s soft, clear, delicious to drink.
All those years to shake your head over.
Look how sweet life has become;
you can see it in the couple who live here,
their calmness as they sit at their table,

the beauty as they offer you new water to drink.

DesertJosephine Miles

When with the skin you do acknowledge drought,
The dry in the voice, the lightness of feet, the fine
Flake of the heat at every level line;

When with the hand you learn to touch without
Surprise the spine for the leaf, the prickled petal,
The stone scorched in the shine, and the wood brittle;

Then where the pipe drips and the fronds sprout
And the foot-square forest of clover blooms in sand,
You will lean and watch, but never touch with your hand.


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