Racial Justice Resource Library

This resource page is sponsored by the Inclusion Committee at Grace United Methodist Church. This committee created by the Church Council in 2020 is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment that welcomes and embraces all people of all ages as instructed in Acts 1:8.  Jesus commands we be witnesses to everyone.  We are to see every person as a gift from God to our community.  We are to seek to be God’s gift to all people as well.  Jesus made no exceptions, nor do we. We seek to live out Jesus’ mandate and leave the Grace UMC building to be a beacon and refuge for all people in our community.  “A new commandment I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, you must love one another.”  John 13:34.  For questions and suggested resources you may have for this page, please email Marshia Hewitt.

Here you will find an ever evolving list of resources, books, videos, movies to help you recognize and understand the way racism functions and must be addressed at personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels. We believe that when we "know better, we do better." We believe that it is the heart of God to address and end all forms of oppression, especially racism as it continues to pose threats to the health and well being of our community.

In our baptism vows we affirm that God gives us the power to "resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves." This resource page recognizes this and seeks to equip people to live into this truth.

Guidelines for Cross Cultural Dialogue

These guidelines from VISIONS, Inc. a national diversity, equity and inclusion training organization, help to create the environment where differences of all kinds (age, race, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) can be recognized, understood, appreciated and utilized as strengths. “Try these on” in all your interactions at home, work, church, etc. not only in your discussion group or book study.

Here is a reflection on the Guidelines using 1 Corinthians 13 (Love) as a lens. We titled this "Guidelines for Building Beloved Community."

Books and Videos

White Fragility: Why It is so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo.  This book is helpful for a lot of white people as a first read for understanding the way racism is bigger than simply "individuals who consciously don't like black people and intentionally seek to do them harm." This book is helpful for recognizing the way racism is embedded in the institutions and culture of our country in ways that are often unseen and unappreciated by well meaning white people who would not consider themselves racists. This book validates the lived experience of many people of color and seeks to awaken white people to the way the system of racism shapes our lives, how we uphold that system and how we might interrupt it. Here is a book discussion guide for White Fragility.

Connected to this book, Robin DiAngelo has made several short videos which can be helpful for opening up conversation about the (often unconscious) ways white people perpetuate systems of racial oppression. This 20 minute video called "Deconstructing White Privilege" was produce with Robin DiAngelo and the United Methodist Church's Commission on Religion and Race. And this 9 minute video called "Being Nice Is Not Going to End Racism" is a good discussion starter about the deeper work necessary for ending racial oppression.

Twelve Books to Help Children Understand Race, Anti-Racism and Protest.

Our Stories of Growth and Change

In this section we are posting with permission the stories of people in our congregation and community about what they are learning, re-learning, and doing around racial justice.  To submit your story, email Marshia Hewitt, Inclusion Committee Chair.

Kelly Hughey's Essay on Understanding Institutional Racism and a second essay on understanding white privilege called "Fish in Water."

Pastor David's Hope in the Dark Valley of Racism (8 min video) - This is a response to Ahmaud Arbery's murder while running in Brunswick GA by two white men acting as citizen police.

In this essay Pastor David share's some of what he is learning about the way racism (another other forms of oppression) manifest themselves in many different ways and at four levels: Personal, Interpersonal, Institutional and Cultural.

Pastoral Letter, June 13, 2020

Prayer of Lament and Rejoicing - This 5 minute video is a prayer of the people - one of lament and rejoicing - led by members of the Grace United Methodist Church Council in St Augustine, FL. This was our prayer in worship on June 14, 2020. This is the text of the prayer.

When the System Does My Hate for Me - A personal account of evolution in grace by Pastor David.

Peace with Justice and an Economy of Abundance - Theological assumptions in our work for peace with justice by Pastor David

Community Conversations

Community Conversation is a weekly gathering on Tuesdays 12:00 - 1:15 p.m. for on-going education, support and leader development for people who want to learn and use a personal approach to change and equity in their own settings. We utilize the multi-cultural process of change and other tools for diversity, equity and inclusion that are taught by VISIONS, Inc. The group is always open and is currently meeting by Zoom. Please email Marshia Hewitt for the Zoom link.

For reference, here are some of those tools: