Crowdsourcing Stories of Truth-telling, Repair, and Healing
And an invitation to join me virtually on Sunday at the Indianapolis Spirit & Place Festival
Happy, Friday, #WhiteTooLong readers!
This week, I’ve been on a writing retreat, working on a draft of a new book. In White Too Long, I focused on the need for white Christians—evangelical, mainline, and Catholic—to confront the ways white supremacy has shaped both our history and our present.1 Since WTL came out, I’ve spoken to nearly 100 predominantly white congregations and denominational entities who are courageously trying to tell a more truthful story about the legacy of white supremacy in their churches and communities.
One thing has become clear: There are few models for reckoning with this troubled past or mending the social fabric in the present. My new book will highlight the stories of contemporary communities and churches who are trying—however imperfectly—to walk this path and the successes and setbacks they’ve encountered along the way. Stay tuned!
This week: Share your stories in the comments
Because I’ve got my head down working on the new book this week, we’ll try something new today. Instead of my typical Friday reflection (which will return next week), I’m opening up the comments section below to everyone (typically restricted to paid subscribers), with this invitation.
If you know a story of a predominantly/historically white congregation (of any type) in your community that is significantly engaging in the work of truth-telling, repentance, and healing from the legacy of white supremacy, please do share their story in the comments below. If there are online resources from those communities that would be helpful to the rest of us, please share those as well. Amid all the bad news about and bad faith among white Christians, these stories of courage and faithfulness are important to hear.
It’s the culture, stupid.
ICYMI, today is a good time to check out last Friday’s post, “It’s the Culture, Stupid.” It has become the most read post (over 7,000 reads) since I started this substack newsletter three month ago. Thanks to all of you for reading and sharing it with friends.
That post received a shout out on Twitter from The New York Times’s Tom Edsall and was featured in Jennifer Rubin’s column at The Washington Post this week. If you missed Rubin’s piece, it’s worth a read.
Join me Virtually on Sunday for a Public Conversation with Dr. Leah Gunning Francis at the Spirit & Place Festival
Finally, I’m in Indianapolis this weekend to participate in the 2021 Spirit & Place Festival. Housed in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, Spirit & Place is a self-funded platform that seeks to harness the power of the arts, humanities, and religion to strengthen and build community, foster deeper connections, and heal the world around us.
I’m honored to be leading the festival’s closing event, a “Public Conversation” between me and Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, Dean of Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary and author of Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community (2015). We’ll discuss how white Christian America must change if not only it, but the American experiment, hopes to survive.
Click here or the image below to register for the virtual event on Sunday, 11/14, 4:30-6:00 p.m. EDT. The event is co-hosted by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, which has been on its own journey of reckoning with its history and relationship with the local African American community.
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As some of you have noticed, due to high demand following White Too Long winning a 2021 American Book Award and supply chain challenges impacting the book publishing industry, the paperback edition is currently out of stock at Amazon and Bookshop. Fortunately it remains available at Barnes & Noble. And of course the hardcover, ebook, and audiobook versions remain available. Please let folks know!