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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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)
- Wed, June 10 • 1pm – Living History at Home – What Is Juneteenth? (NY Historical Society Event) Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/304772130550759/. Hosted by NY Historical Society and recommended by NHCUCC Racial Justice Mission Group: https://www.nyhistory.org/childrens-museum/family-programs?living-history-home-celebrate-juneteenth%2Fjune%2F10%2F2020
- Thurs, June 18 • 3pm – Cooking with Selina – A Soul Food Cooking Show (NH Black Heritage Trail Event) Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_laoPAYUmTuuIHnd5BLY2Tw (tickers required)
- Fri, June 19 • 1-4pm – Music to Celebrate Our Ancestors
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2Ay0_13LQYypGjsSEv52ww (tickets required)
- Fri, June 19 • 7pm – Songs That Feed the Soul Concert (NH Black Heritage Trail Event) Online event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/380005502958891/
- Sat, June 20 • Noon – Weaving Stories of the Enslaved: Conversations with Karen Hempton (Free Soils Arts Collective Event)
Online event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/567925910827435/
Become more informed about yourself:
- Start by taking an implicit bias test here. It will help you learn more about yourself.
Dive deep through other available resources. Some recommendations on different topics.
Starting-point to talk about race:
- Smithsonian’s African American Museum of History & Culture Talking About Race
- Sesame Street Town Hall on Racism for families to watch together to begin or support the conversation in your home.
- Some additional links families (and adults) may find useful, per school leaders:
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.
- Joint letter from multiple Christian organizations.
- Statements from each member denomination as well as ideas for further action.
- 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 Today: Books 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:
- Bryan Stevenson’s Changing America’s Racial Narrative
- Microaggression Examplesfrom NHCUCC
- How communities of color are being affected by COVID: Guide
- PBS Slavery by Another Name. A film based on Douglas Blackmon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book
- The Danger of a Single Storyby Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie / TED Talk
- Academic paper: Levels of Racism: A Theoretic Framework and a Gardener’s Tale by Dr. Camara Jones. The author presents a theoretic framework for understanding racism on 3 levels: institutionalized, personally mediated, and internalized.
Justice System, Policing, and Mass Incarceration:
- We Need to Talk About an Injustice TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy
- How people of color experience the police:
Activism & Being an Ally:
- How To Be an Interrupter – A White Person’s Guide to Activism by Aaryn Belter
- Sojourner article on For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies
- The King Center: Online Protest A seven day Nonviolent Livestream
- It’s hard to understand antiracism without understanding what it means to be racist by Ibram X. Kendi panel discussion
- Seven steps you can take right now from Global Citizen
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People: Document compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein, May 2020
- Equitable Dinners Lift Every Voice with Dr Camara Jones
- 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:
- Mindful‘s Conversation on Mindfulness, Bias and Racial Justice https://www.mindful.org/a-conversation-on-mindfulness-bias-and-racial-justice/
- New Hampshire Conference of UCC: Letter to White Allies
- The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery by Rev Otis Moss III’s from Trinity UCC in Chicago
- Q&A from Rev Otis Moss III’s sermon (sermon link above)
- I Need to Talk to Spiritual White Women about White Supremacy blog entries, read here: part 1 & part 2
- UCC‘s Racial Justice & White Privilege curriculum with resources from the Racial Justice Mission Group
- United Church of Christ: Sacred Conversations to End Racism (SC2ER), a Restorative Racial Justice Journey curriculum created to address and dismantle racism within the Christian Church and society. The study guide and resources offer lessons to dispel myths of white skin and dominant culture supremacy.
- ELCA Southeastern Synod hosted Recorded webinar: Becoming the Body of Christ – Condemning White Supremacy
- ELCA Talking Together as Christians about Tough Social Issues
- Biblical Advocacy 101 – Booklet from Christian Reformed Church
- How Black Lives Matter Changed My Theology
- from Sojourner
- Responses documented by NH Council of Churches
Statements from the local or national levels, and links to the statements from the National Council of Churches and the New Hampshire Jewish community.
- American Baptist: Acts of Racial Injustice – A Letter from American Baptist Churches Interim General Secretary
- Greek Orthodox: Statement of Metropolitan Methodios of Boston on the Death of George Floyd
- Episcopal: Presiding Bishop Curry’s Word to the Church: When the Cameras are Gone, We Will Still Be Here
- Lutheran: ELCA reaffirms commitment to combat racism and white supremacy
- Presbyterian: Matthew 25 and George Floyd
- Religious Society of Friends: AFSC condemns police killing of George Floyd
- United Church of Christ: May 25 Pastoral Letter
- United Methodist: A message from Bishop Devadhar: George Floyd
- National Council of Churches USA: Floyd Murder by Police Officer Is an Outrage
- Letter from the The Jewish Federation of NH and the NH Jewish Clergy Council
Public policy bodies that are exploring and shaping equity initiatives and conversations in New Hampshire:
- Governor Sununu’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report
- Business NH Magazine article on creating an inclusive state
- Endowment for Health’s NH Advancing Health Equity for Racial, Ethnic and Language Minorities
- NH Listens: Carsey School of Public Policy
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 email@example.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.
Is conflict always a bad thing or might it be a chance to grow? What is your response to conflict? How might you move from holy conflict to sacred response: hope, healing, resilience, and reconciliation? — Rev Gail
Excerpt from commentary by Chanequa Walker-Barnes: Conflict is not a threat that needs to be prevented or extinguished. It is an important dynamic for the growth and health of any organization. In fact, as Margaret Kornfeld states in her book, Cultivating Wholeness, the healthier that a community is, the more potential there is for conflict to emerge. Perhaps this is the understanding of conflict that the author of Proverbs had in mind when they wrote, “Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another” (Prov. 27:17 NRSV). When conflict is expressed, acknowledged, and worked through, it can be a blessing that facilitates growth, strength, and positive innovation. The challenge for us is to learn how to be comfortable with the tension that conflict creates. After all, we don’t want to block the blessing.
“I am the holy being of my mother’s prayer and my father’s song”
—Norman Patrick Brown, Dineh Poet and Speaker
Recognize whose lands these are on which we stand.
Ask the deer, turtle, and the crane.
Make sure the spirits of these lands are respected and treated with goodwill.
The land is a being who remembers everything.
You will have to answer to your children, and their children, and theirs—
The red shimmer of remembering will compel you up the night to walk the perimeter of truth for understanding.
As I brushed my hair over the hotel sink to get ready I heard:
By listening we will understand who we are in this holy realm of words.
Do not parade, pleased with yourself.
You must speak in the language of justice.
“what the heart hears”
Speak my name
Meet me here
I am not your enemy
I am your teacher
I may even be your friend
Let us tell our truth together, you and I
My name is anger: I say you have been wronged
My name is shame: my story is your hidden pain
My name is fear: my story is vulnerability
My name is resentment: I say things should have been different
My name is grief
My name is depression
My name is heartache
I have many names
And many lessons
I am not your enemy
I am your teacher
(excerpt from chapter: ‘naming the hurt’ from The Book of Forgiving by Desmond and Mpho Tutu,
see also: www.humanjourney.com)
Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. — Henry Nouwen
Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. — Buddha
Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing. — Edward Abbey
“We cannot overcome anger and hatred simply by suppressing them. We need to actively cultivate the antidotes to hatred: patience and tolerance … When we are engaged in the practice of patience and tolerance, in reality, what is happening is you are engaged in a combat with hatred and anger.” — Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Daiai Lama from The Art of Happiness
“Actuarial File” (excerpts) by Jean Valentine
Orange peels, burned letters, the car lights shining on the grass,
everything goes somewhere—and everything we do—nothing
ever disappears. But changes …
“Everything that happens, happens once and for all. Is this true?
If so, what then?”
Yes. Your story; all of your hope; what you do, breaks. Changes.
“If so, what then?” Nothing disappears. And you do last …
Come stay here, at my place, a while.—Someday we will be able
to say, I did this thing; I did that other thing; I was that woman.
Someday, we will be able to take it in, that violence, hold it in our
hands … And the ones who come after us, maybe they can
understand us; forgive us; as we do forgive our parents, our
grandparents, moving so distantly through their lives … their
silences … And the ones we were with maybe our friendship can change, can mend …
Come stay here. Things change …
“If there is to be reconciliation, first there must be truth.”
— Timothy Tyson from Blood Done Sign My Name
“Whether victim or perpetrator, part of being human is rolling up our sleeves and taking an active part in repairing harm.” – Katy Hutchison & Ryan Aldridge from TheForgivenessProject.com
“Truth can be told in an instant, forgiveness can be offered spontaneously, but reconciliation is the work of lifetimes and generations.” — Krista Tippett from Speaking of Faith
The poet dreams of the mountain by Mary Oliver
Sometimes I grow weary of the days, with all their fits and starts.
I want to climb some old gray mountains, slowly, taking
The rest of my lifetime to do it, resting often, sleeping
Under the pines or, above them, on the unclothed rocks.
I want to see how many stars are still in the sky
That we have smothered for years now, a century at least.
I want to look back at everything, forgiving it all,
And peaceful, knowing the last thing there is to know.
All that urgency! Not what the earth is about!
How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only.
I want to take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts.
In ten thousand years, maybe, a piece of the mountain will fall.