Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, Rock Hill, South Carolina

OAPC Disciples Against Racism and Providence Presbytery’s Beloved Community Seekers

After George Floyd’s murder, Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church members took the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge of the Privilege Institute. A group emerged called Disciples Against Racism, which continues to meet regularly to heighten awareness of racism and white privilege. Through books, articles, movies and personal experiences, they learn about race as a social construct, wrestle with the complexities of white supremacy, and face their own implicit biases and racist tendencies. Members now speak up when racist comments are made and confess when they don’t. They seek out Black-owned businesses and participated in a presbytery-wide read about racism. Together, they enjoy social gatherings. In the summer, they individually pursue activities to deepen their understanding of racism. From this group has come a community-wide team to undertake a project of the Equal Justice Initiative to memorialize documented victims of racial violence and foster meaningful dialogue about race and justice.