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The PC(USA)’s newly formed White Ally Network convenes in Charlotte, North Carolina

The Rev. Shanea D. Leonard, director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries (RE&WIM), has been doing the work of dismantling oppressive systems for more than two decades.    In their work they found that this requires white people teaching and facilitating white people. The hard conversations and unfiltered truths that come from fully embodying this work is often a lighter burden when white people are doing this self-work together without the emotional labor of their Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) siblings. Leonard’s discovery led to the formation of the White Ally Network — a working title — which met last week for the first time in Charlotte, North Carolina.

No such thing as neutral

This is it. The hard conversation. You’re prepared to lead your church group in the difficult work of antiracism. You’ve researched the perfect book. You’ve got the webinar cued up. You have your difficult but necessary questions prepared. But have you done your own work?

Black Lives (still) Matter

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with a colleague to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and how it connects to the church. I am in no way an expert on the entirety of the Black Lives Matter movement. However, I have been a social justice faith abolitionist for many years and share a perspective that is grounded in my belief in Jesus and the practical side of the justice God calls forth.