Faith and Racial Healing: Embracing Truth, Justice, and Restoration
This eight-week module guides participants in telling the truth about the history of racism in the United States, that we might work toward true reconciliation with God and restoration with one another.
Be willing to do something that’s a little bit uncomfortable in the hope that you’ll get to a place that’s a lot more liberating. — Bryan Stevenson
Do you want to address racism in your faith community, but you don’t know where to begin?
Regardless of whether your group is new to the topic, or if you’ve already taken our first module on racial equity, this 8-week module, Faith and Racial Healing: Embracing Truth, Justice, and Restoration, will guide your small group in the difficult but necessary conversation about our history of racism in the United States.
In our churches, before we come to the communion table we first confess that we have not loved God and our neighbors with our whole heart. In other words, before we can receive the joy of reconciliation with God and one another, we must first tell the truth about what we have done and left undone. However, our temptation is to try to skip right to the easy part – reconciliation – without first doing the hard work of truth-telling. And because there is no truth-telling, there is no true reconciliation.
This module helps participants tell the truth about our collective history of racism and violence, that we might seek real restoration with God and one another. In outlining the topics to be covered in our first module on racism (Faith and Racial Equity: Exploring Power and Privilege), we at JustFaith quickly realized that it is impossible to work toward racial healing without first acknowledging the truth of our history. So we put together this second module to explain the historical context behind the racial inequalities we face today, whether in education, the criminal justice system, the workforce, or even in church life. Though we focused specifically on African slaves and their descendents, this module will open participants’ eyes to patterns of injustice that affect other minority groups across the nation as well.
Whether your group is all white or more diverse, and regardless of your group members’ theological or political perspectives, this module creates a safe space for healthy dialogue. Through the one-day opening retreat, immersion experience, and eight sessions, your group will emerge from Faith and Racial Healing better equipped to work toward restoration.
Faith & Racial Healing: Embracing Truth, Justice, and Restoration consists of eight 2½-hour sessions. All sessions include prayer, dialogue, active listening, and relationship-building. Some sessions include videos and/or a guest speaker.
JustFaith Ministries recommends that a group be approximately eight to fifteen people.
We encourage co-facilitation by two participants or individuals who have already been through the program. Facilitators are not “experts” but are simply keepers of the process and ensure adherence to the group guidelines. A facilitator training webinar is required and and facilitation support is provided by JFM staff, as needed.
Participants read two books that present a side of history they likely didn’t learn in high school, as well as show how our past affects our present. A third book guides them in a weekly spiritual practice. During each session, videos and short articles provide the basis for conversation and learning, while songs, prayers, and liturgies ground participants in a sense of belonging and spiritual family. Click here for the book list. All books are available through JustFaith Ministries bookstore.
Immersion and Retreat
In order to build community and Scriptural grounding, Faith and Racial Healing includes a one-day retreat, during which participants join in prayer, introspective reflection, and holy conversation around their personal experiences with race and privilege.
The immersion connects participants with community organizations already engaged in racial justice efforts. This real-world experience guides groups in discerning how they can put their learning into action.
Affordable Pricing for Groups
Churches, Parishes, Organizations
- Comprehensive materials for each session
- Facilitation scripts, guidance, training and JFM staff support
- Immersion guidance
- Direct access to program staff for support
- Additional resources – approx $40 per participant (includes common book from Faith and Racial Equity)
All other materials are web-based
|Faith and Racial Healing 2019-20
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to take any of the racism modules in a particular order?
You can take the racism modules in whichever order you wish.
How is this module different from Faith and Racial Equity: Exploring Power and Privilege?
While Faith and Racial Equity focuses on racial privilege, empowering some and oppressing others, Faith and Racial Healing explores the history of racism in the United States (focusing on the African American experience).
I want to talk about racism, but I don’t want to cause a split in my church!
As Christians, we are called to speak truth and to stand in solidarity with the marginalized, even when there’s real risk involved. However, one of the primary reasons JustFaith Ministries developed this module is because we well-aware of the tension around this issue, particularly in churches, and that a botched attempt at conversation or training can cause more harm than good. Faith and Racial Healing will teach your community the skills they need to engage in important conversations with deep listening and mutual respect. Also, this module comes with a facilitator training webinar, as well as live facilitation support. After having completed Faith and Racial Healing, you can not only expect your group have grown closer, but also to be better equipped to have hard conversations around any issue, no matter the subject matter.
What if our group is all-white?
People of color often have the burden of teaching white people about racism. That’s a lot of pressure! For this reason, we designed these materials for small groups of any demographic. Experts of color have guided the JustFaith Ministries staff in choosing books, videos, and articles that highlight voices of color and speak truth about the reality of racism in our country.
What books will we read?
“The Color of Compromise” by Jemar Tisby, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” by Joy DeGruy, and “40 Days of Prayer” by Cheri Mills.