Here is a list of concrete actions – some simple, less time consuming, and others more complex – to help you think about steps you can take now.
Please review the list, choose one or two ideas that make your heart sing, and go from there. What feels do-able? Where can you act now? Remember: you are not alone. Your ONE STEP FORWARD will be added to the hundreds of other steps forward from the congregation. Together, we will begin the journey.
Be sure to log your steps using this form, so we can be inspired by every action. THANK YOU!
- Watch and listen to Mahan Siler and James Forbes sound the call: “Do You Hear What I Hear: A Call to the Work of Anti-Racism.”
- Walk the labyrinth – either the one in the WSBC parking lot, or one you have constructed in your own space. Use the meditation guide to help you find reflection points. We hope you will be creative with this and use this exercise as a spiritual practice.As you and your camera look for a way to capture your experience of walking toward racial equity and justice, we hope your heart and mind will connect with the sacred call to Build Beloved Community. Post your thoughts and a photo of your feet on the path on the Facebook page. Send your photo and thoughts to email@example.com by Wednesday for the following Sunday worship services.
- Serve at WSBC. Join a WSBC Initiative Energy/Interest Group to help Build the Beloved Community in Durham. There are options and outlets for all ideas. Join one of WSBC’s own long-standing Mission Groups, many of which have racial justice and equity as a core part of their work. https://wattsstreet.org/serve/
- Attend virtual events sponsored by Duke Chapel using circle practices around racial healing and justice. Free events are scheduled on April 13 and April 27. https://chapel.duke.edu/new-online-series-local-efforts-seek-justice
- Participate in a Durham Cares Pilgrimage Weekend ($150, scholarships available) https://durhamcares.org/pilgrimage-2/
- Get trained in anti-racism. Here are two virtual resources:
- The Racial Equity Institute’s Groundwater training: https://www.racialequityinstitute.com/ourservices
- The King Center’s BeLove Nonviolence365 virtual trainings: https://thekingcenter.org/event/be-love-campaign-february-series/2021-02-22/
- Participate in the upcoming Alliance of Baptist Meeting April 23-25 where the theme is
How Then Shall We Live? Covenantal Life in the Midst of Coronavirus and White Supremacy https://allianceofbaptists.org/
- Participate in DCIA’s Building the Beloved Community Forum on April 20 via Zoom. Discussion of partnerships between congregations of different races. http://www.dcia.org/ Recordings of previous DCIA Building Beloved Community Forums are also available: to review the March 2021 forum, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrrpiDNj5XQ.
- Gather and use your anti-racism tools. www.racialequitytools.org. Learn something. Write about it on your Steps Log.
- Borrow and read a book from the WSBC Little Free Antiracism Library located on the church property.
- Write a review of what you have read and post it to the Facebook page
- Return the book so that others can borrow
- Add another book to the library. Here is a good list of books to start with. How many have you read?
If you want a particular book recommendation, please contact Bebe Guill or Barb Rumer.
- Better yet, purchase two suggested books, including at least one from the Children’s Ed Committee wishlist (bit.ly/wattsstreetlibrary) to donate: one to the WSBC Little Free Library, and one to Durham Public Schools. (Contact Paula Januzzi-Godfrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) for info on donating to schools; Contact Esther Soud Parker (Esther@wattsstreet.org) to donate to WSBC)
- Join or help start a WSBC racial equity and justice book club to share thoughts about what you have read. Current opportunity is small group discussion on “How to be an Antiracist”, by Ibram X Kendi. April 11, 18, and 25, 3:00-4:00 pm via Zoom. Contact Esther Soud Parker at email@example.com to sign up.
- Reconnect with the powerful Christian witness for the common good in our past and in our present. Follow this cloud of witnesses, including “the many white freedom-fighters who risked their lives standing up for love in the face of violence and hatred.” Sign the pledge written by our friend Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.
- Watch a movie or documentary that addresses racism. Reflect on its impact on you. Share that reflection with others. Here are some starting points. There are lots of others. What would you suggest? What would you want to discuss with others?
- Organize a small group viewing and discussion of a movie or documentary using the Teleparty browser extension found here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/netflix-party-is-now-tele/oocalimimngaihdkbihfgmpkcpnmlaoa?hl=en
- Explore the vast regions of Black life that are filled with joy, romance and beauty. Here are some examples. https://www.cnn.com/style/article/trauma-free-blackness-culture-queue/index.html
- Reflect on your experiences of race or racism and write a poem, essay, or short story about it. Share it on the church Facebook page.
- Make a piece of artwork relevant to the theme Building the Beloved Community. Upload a photo of it for our Facebook page and/or save it to display later.
- Support local arts, which daily give us inspiration and motivation for building the beloved community. https://durhamarts.org/
- Learn about and support a community group working to support racial equity and justice. Here are a few that would welcome your energy.
- Organizing Against Racism (https://oaralliance.org) is a network of anti-racism groups, including OAR Durham (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Durham CAN (Congregations, Neighborhoods) is a long-standing organization with multiple outreach efforts to help Build Beloved Community. https://www.durhamcan.org/
- The Poor People’s Campaign: https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/
- Durham Cares: https://durhamcares.org/
- The Religious Coalition for a Non-Violent Durham: https://nonviolentdurham.org/practices/vigils/
- United for a Fair Economy https://www.faireconomy.org/
- If you have a blog or Instagram account, write a post relevant to our themes. Share a link to it on the church Facebook page.
- Research a recipe from a different culture to make food you’ve never tried before. Cook it, share it with someone, post a photo or a recipe review on the Facebook page.
- Explore how local organizations are fighting food insecurity. Support our food banks. https://www.foodpantries.org/ci/nc-durham;
Support PORCH-Durham. https://durham.porchcommunities.org/
- Feed the hungry. Participate in our partnership with St. John’s Baptist Church through Walltown Neighborhood Ministries Food Pantry. Volunteers help with purchasing, sorting, and delivering groceries/supplies once-a-month. To sign up contact Minister Silvia Belcher (919-286- 0332, 919-475-9466, email@example.com). Contact Bob Kruhm (919-699-6226, firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions about this ministry.
- Invite friends of a different race to join you in taking steps together in the 47th annual Durham CROP Hunger Walk. It will be virtual this year. Set a goal (5K, 5 miles, 10 miles, etc.) and walk ANYWHERE and ANYTIME April 10th through April 18th.
- Listen/subscribe to a relevant podcast such as:
- The 1619 Project
- Seeing White (Scene on Radio, Season 2)
- On the Margins podcast by the Center for Racial Equity in Education (CREED) about capturing stories about educational equity in NC.
- Serial Season 3 (following a court in Ohio–not specifically about race, but any story about criminal justice in the US has a lot to tell about systemic racism)
- The American Project – Reparations (hosted by Osha Gray Davidson who wrote The Best of Enemies –the story about Durhamites Ann Atwater and former Klansman CP Ellis who formed an unlikely friendship through discussions about school integration, race and class).
- Intersectionality Matters with Kimberle Crenshaw
- Nice White Parents: a 5-part series about building a better school system and what gets in the way. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/nice-white-parents/id1524080195
- Write an op-ed based on your research into a local issue, drawing attention to the people and organizations that could use some more support.
- Look for opportunities to chat with other Durham citizens- friends, neighbors, co-workers – about issues that matter to all of us. Anti-racist trainings can help guide you through difficult conversations.
- Reach out. Phone or email friends and acquaintances impacted by something in the news. Be the love. Say THANK YOU to allies whom you know are doing the work.
- Pray. Use your own open heart, words, and actions, or use a daily anti-racism prayer resource, such as this one, to guide you: https://www.trinitychurchboston.org/news-publication/the-anti-racism-prayer-book
- Make and listen to your song list for the movement. What music inspires you in this moment of reckoning of race and power in America? Listen and maybe share your list on Spotify. Invite others to collaborate on your list. Here are some starting anthems.
- I Wish I Knew How it Feels to be Free, Nina Simone
- The Black National Anthem, by James Weldon Johnson, various artists
- Sweeter by Leon Bridges
- We Have Come Too Far to Turn Around by Charles Lloyd and Lucinda Williams
- Amazing Grace, sung by Barack Obama
- Black Parade by Beyonce
- What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5TmORitlKk
- Get and use a quote a day. Use them for your own daily inspiration or add them to your email signature or on social media. Show you are an ally for racial equity and justice. Here are some quotes that can make your own life and the world a better place for generations to come. https://cardinalatwork.stanford.edu/engage/ideal-engage/quotes-demonstrate-your-anti-racism-commitment-and-support
Identify one African American in history whose accomplishments you know about. Then identify one African American in history whose accomplishments you have beensurprised to learn about. Why do you think there may have been a gap in your learning? Here are sites where you can learn more:https://www.oprahmag.com/life/g25954127/african-american-historical-figures/ www.girltrek.org. Learn about historical figures through Black History Bootcamp.
- Learn about a BIPOC artist, writer, or craftsperson, and share what you learn on the church Facebook page. If the artist is living, share information about the artist’s website or galleries where people can buy art to support the work.
- Support your neighborhood school. Read the research, the most comprehensive of which comes from Rucker C. Johnson, professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, who maintains “The medicine called integration works.”https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/10/19/446085513/the-evidence-that-white-children-benefit-from-integrated-schools Also see: From raising anti-racist kids to being an anti-racist family by Courtney E. Martin in The Nation. https://www.thenation.com/article/society/anti-racist-parenting/ Newsletter: https://courtney.substack.com/
- Find out what a Title I school in Durham needs in the way of donations and give. Art supplies? Books? https://www.donorschoose.org/
- What do you know about the history of Watts Street Baptist Church? Read this and reflect:https://divinityarchive.com/bitstream/handle/11258/11443/tellingstorieshi00rags.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y or this and reflect: https://allianceofbaptists.org/congregations/watts-street-baptist-church We are coming up soon on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the church (1923). What story would you want to tell?
- Look for ways to support Black-owned businesses in Durham.
Black Business Green Book: https://t.co/3UauuFyfX8?amp=1
- Support businesses that pay a living wage: https://www.durhamlivingwageproject.org/
- Join Durham CAN Zoom Session on Jobs/Living Wage on April 6.
- Join the Self-Help Credit Union, which works hand-in-hand with its partners, borrowers and members to expand economic opportunities for all. https://www.self-help.org/
- Widen your world view by following Black faculty at Duke and elsewhere. https://twitter.com/BlackThinkTank
- Support the League of Women Voters and ACLU in their efforts to protect and expand voting rights. https://www.aclu.org/news/racial-justice/breaking-down-systemic-racism-through-collective-action-in-the-south/
- Work to change our public budget priorities, currently tipped toward heavy police and defense spending. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/dismantle-war-economy/
- Advocate for government innovation. https://www.innovations.harvard.edu/find-innovative-solutions
- Look for solutions to gun violence. Write Rep. David Price who says he will continue to advocate for evidence-based policies that will end our nation’s epidemic of gun violence. See ‘Children Under Fire: An American Crisis,’ by John Woodrow Cox (Ecco, March 30, 2021) for policy solutions. https://www.harpercollins.com/products/children-under-fire-john-woodrow-cox?variant=32126593138722
THIS IS YOUR IDEA space. There’s so much more! What would you add and why? Submit your ideas to the Log Page to help inspire others.