In "Families," a Tapestry of Faith program
Young people can be a powerful motivator for change. Congregations will often attend activities that the youth sponsor, just because they want be supportive. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk about racial identity. After they have seen the film themselves, youth can help facilitate a discussion with the whole congregation. You may want to schedule time to see several films. Perhaps this could become an ongoing series on identity and include other issues like gender and sexual orientation. Youth are at a critical stage at this time of life; through sorting out their own identity, they can provide great insight and new ideas to the congregation.
To your group, introduce the idea that, as they develop their own identity, youth are at a critical juncture in their lives. You might ask: "How we choose to name ourselves—black, white, multiracial, or something else—affects our worldview. How do you choose to identify yourself? How does that affect how you experience the world?" Then introduce the movie or movies you plan to show. For instance, you might say that The Color of Fear focuses on eight men who come from different racial backgrounds, who gather to discuss—sometimes in a heated way—their experiences. Race—The Power of an Illusion argues that race is an illusion that has deeply affected our culture in negative ways.
Show the film. Process it with the whole group, perhaps by using study guides that accompany the films or starting the discussion with these general questions:
Ask the youth whether they think adults in the congregation would benefit from watching the film(s). Organize a small group of youth to plan and facilitate an evening or weekend afternoon viewing for the congregation. Those who do not want to facilitate can be in charge of the equipment or snacks. Help the facilitators understand that there may be strong feelings in the congregation; questions of identity run deep. If your group is comprised of younger youth, suggest that adult and youth teams lead the discussions. You might ask adults who are not participating in Families, but who have facilitation experience with adult groups and/or a strong interest in the subject matter, to help facilitate.
Here is a short list of possible steps required to prepare for a congregational viewing:
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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