Following the tumultuous racial tensions in spring and summer of 2020, the Session of Northminster Presyberian Church in Evanston, Illinois formed the Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF) with the goal of our congregation learning and growing together to dismantle racism wherever we encounter it, in all of its forms.
Through activities designed to educate, evaluate, and activate, the RJTF encourages all members and friends of Northminster to join us in taking up the call for racial justice. Join us in the work to interrupt and dismantle white supremacy, and push back against racism. Join us as followers of Jesus Christ to create the Beloved Community, where all are loved for who they are and can live fully free.
Your sisters and brothers in Christ,
The Racial Justice Task Force: Kelly Brest Van Kempen, Jackie Eddy, Nancy Kim Phillips, Erica Mbangamoh, Bruce McBratney, David Rankin, Ian Ross, Nan Snowden, Amber Yancey-Carroll
Staff: Michael Kirby, Jessica Gregory, Ann Ohlrogge Johnson
Please sign up for one of three sessions.
As part of the Lenten Anti-Racism Journey, you may have opened some of the links in the daily emails, perhaps followed up on some ideas to take action, or attended book discussion sessions on Michael Eric Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop.
It has been a lot to take in.
Your chance to exchange views, ask questions, and let it all sink in, is coming April 13, 18, and 20.
Each of us started our journey at a different place, and have been affected, perhaps changed, in deeply individual ways. Most of us have not had a chance to really talk about our experiences with other fellow Northminster travelers--to process our thoughts, ask questions, to explore, “what does this mean for me, and what does this mean for us, as a church? What should we do?”
Please sign up for one of three sessions.
The Racial Justice Task Force is asking all members and regular visitors of Northminster to participate in this survey.
As a congregation, we must understand what we believe, what we know, and what we need to learn to ensure we are able to recognize and dismantle racism in all its forms, wherever we encounter it.
Help us to better understand the lived experiences and needs of the congregation with respect to Racial Justice, so we can set clear, actionable goals and work toward a world without racism!
The entire breadth of Northminster's Lenten Anti-Racism Opportunities are available in one place, organized by date, type of activity, and topic. Every item has links to relevent information.
Browse, search, and learn at your own pace and when you have time. Take a minute to watch another video. Or read. Or get involved. All materials can be found here.
This Lenten Journey has been powerful for me. The resources the Task Force has identified provides the empowering knowledge one needs to truly have the vocabulary and mindset to recognize and address racism. I found the Implicit Bias assessments especially eye opening; they are allowing me to start addressing racism directly in ME.
One link that stands out for me was finding photos of a 4th grade class at Foster School when I did a couple of clicks into Shorefront Center. I have lived in Evanston for a long time, so knew about the history of Foster School, but I had never seen a photo of the kids before Evanston's integration plan changed their lives. It was a touching moment for me, as I thought about the loss of the school.
The activities have been very interesting and informative. In particular, the video "Before You Call" brought tears to my eyes.
Northminster's response to the killing of George Floyd.
I've really been enjoying the daily opportunity to engage with this content and give thought to issues around race. The system certainly has not been set up in a fair way and this gives fresh perspectives around what should be "done.” I'm an action-oriented person. Perhaps it is a reflection of my whiteness to use my power to do something, but it feels better to do something beyond reflecting.
Again and again Northminster's daily Lenten Journey leads me to read, watch, listen and reflect on stories that remind me of my white privilege, reawaken my awareness of systemic racism, and rekindle my outrage that injustice still pours down on persons of color in this country. Now I can hear the anger, feel the pain, and clearly see my part in it. I cannot turn away again. How then, shall I respond?