Building an inclusive caring community is one of the commitments PW makes in its Purpose. It is also a commitment that voting representatives to PW’s Business Meeting sought to keep by pledging to eradicate racism in 1997 and then by declaring Presbyterian Women an antiracist organization in 2006. The following programs are in place to further PW’s commitment to antiracism.
- Antiracism Training
- Transformation of Presbyterian Women into an Antiracist Organization
- PW Racial Ethnic Dialog
- Racial Ethnic Dialog Groups in Synods and Presbyteries
In partnership with the Office of Racial Justice and Advocacy, Presbyterian Women offered training to 75 members of Presbyterian Women to become antiracism facilitators in 2002–2005. They have joined the PC(USA)’s growing network of antiracism facilitators who work in teams of at least two people to lead antiracism training events, which range from one hour to one day in length, for congregation, presbytery and synod groups, as well as PW groups at all levels.
In September 2008, more than 100 PW leaders at the churchwide leadership training event participated in antiracism education sessions. Several women received additional training through the Multicultural Institute of the Ghost Ranch Conference Center, with the financial support of PW.
PW (in collaboration with offices in the Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries area and the Compassion, Peace and Justice ministry area) will offer an antiracism training event as part of the Multicultural Preconference at Big Tent II in Indianapolis. The training will begin at 9 AM on June 29 and end at 12:30 PM on June 30.
The fee for the training is $50, which includes lunch on June 29. You do not need to register for Big Tent II to take part in this training. However, anyone interested will need additional funds for one night’s lodging and meals.
Women currently serving as PW leaders are encouraged to take part in this training. Scholarship information will be available in February 2011. Contact Unzu Lee at 888/728-7228, ext. 5778, for more information.
At the Business Meeting during the 2003 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women, PW adopted recommendations for structural changes proposed by the Structural Review Task Force. The task force reviewed and analyzed the PW structure, its programs and resources from an antiracist perspective during 2000–2003. These recommendations were referred to various standing committees of the Churchwide Coordinating Team and, with the help of the Antiracism Committee, most of the recommendations have been fully implemented or are in the process of implementation.
The Antiracism Committee of the Churchwide Coordinating Team is responsible for advocating and monitoring for racial justice in Presbyterian Women, and its membership includes six CCT members and two anti-racism facilitators and it is responsible for advocating and monitoring for racial justice in Presbyterian Women. The committee produced Becoming the Beloved Community: An Antiracism Resource Packet to support the work of PW in antiracism.
Officially organized in May 1998, the dialog grew out of discussions during the 1994–1997 triennium of Presbyterian Women in response to concerns raised by National Asian Presbyterian Women and National Black Presbyterian Women. Today the PW Racial Ethnic Dialog group, consisting of about 30 women of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, meets for facilitated, meaningful conversation, which brings about learning. Participants serve a three year term and meet annually for three days, usually on a PC(USA) racial ethnic school campus.
The PW Racial Ethnic Dialog seeks to:
- Honor the gifts, perspectives and heritage of all God’s people and celebrate our oneness in the living Christ;
- Work together towards developing a sanctuary where women of different racial ethnic backgrounds can speak the truth to each other and be heard;
- Intentionally find ways to increase mutual understanding and work together as partners in ministry through dialog;
- Develop racial ethnic women’s leadership so that they may pursue their concerns and mission with confidence;
- Serve as a vehicle of bringing about justice for women of all racial ethnic backgrounds and ages in Presbyterian Women and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
(Approved by the PW Racial Ethnic Dialog, January 24, 2009)
2009–2012 Racial Ethnic Dialog
The members of the 2009–2012 Racial Ethnic Dialog consist of 29 women—23 appointed members and six elected members. The 23 appointed members consist of 12 members of PW’s Churchwide Coordinating Team, six racial ethnic women (appointed by the six officially recognized racial ethnic groups in PW), three new immigrant women, and two women who represent Racial Ethnic Young Women Together (REYWT). The additional six elected racial ethnic members are selected through an open nomination process.
The 2009–2012 meetings will be facilitated by Frances Frazier, a consultant with Everyday Democracy. Through dialogical process, members of the Dialog will be led to speak the truth as well as learn to truly hear each other out across differences. The process includes both study and action components. This program is supported by Presbyterian Women and offices in racial ethnic congregational and immigrant ministries.
The 2011 PW Racial Ethnic Dialog meeting will take place at a Presbyterian mission center in Dallas, Texas on February 25–27.
Following the success of the Racial Ethnic Dialog at the churchwide level, PW at its 2003 Business Meeting approved a recommendation with funding to encourage PW groups in synods and presbyteries to start a Racial Ethnic Dialog group. Nine synods received $2,000 grants during 2003–2006, and some of the resulting dialog groups continue to meet.
If you want to start a cross-racial/cross-cultural dialogue group, consult the following resources:
Becoming the Beloved Community: People of Faith Working Together To Eradicate Racism
A DVD produced by Presbyterian Women, and it is accompanied with a study guide that is designed to encourage meaningful dialogue about racism and to equip people of faith to work together to eradicate racism and bring about the beloved community that God intends. The DVD has four 15-minute segments. The accompanying study guide includes questions for reflection and dialogue. ($20 plus shipping)
Building an Inclusive, Caring Community through Dialogue
A PW resource that guides learners the step-by-step process for beginning a dialogue group for building communities across differences. (1–9 copies, $3.50 each; 10 or more, $2.50 each)
Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation: A Guide for Public Dialogue and Problem Solving
A 56-page resource developed by Everyday Democracy to help people to solve the problem of racism through a six-session community dialogue. It has excellent group exercises for participants and a facilitator’s guide. (Available as free download or ordered for $5 plus shipping.)
Becoming the Beloved Community Antiracism Packet (without DVD)
PW's antiracism resource packet is designed to help individuals and groups engage the issue of racism, both individually and collectively. It includes tools for understanding and dismantling racism, as well as other resources including a glossary and worship resources. This "lite" version does not include PW's Becoming the Beloved Community DVD. ($14.95 plus shipping)
Becoming the Beloved Community Antiracism Packet (with DVD)
PW's antiracism resource packet is designed to help individuals and groups engage the issue of racism, both individually and collectively. It includes tools for understanding and dismantling racism, including a glossary, worship resources, PW's award-winning Becoming the Beloved Community DVD, articles from The Thoughtful Christian's study pack, and other resources. ($24.95 plus shipping)