Pursuing an Antiracist Spirituality

Dismantling White Supremacy Culture Resource of the Month

Rev. Phil Lund, Congregational Life Consultant

As a spiritual director, I believe that almost any meaningful activity we pursue in this life can be approached as a spiritual practice, including dismantling white supremacy culture and building an anti-racist identity. Which is why I was thrilled to run across Been in the Struggle: Pursuing an Antiracist Spirituality, by Regina Shands Stoltzfus and Tobin Miller Shearer. According to the publisher, “Been in the Struggle nurtures, challenges, and fosters the work and witness of dismantling racism for the long haul.”

Regina Shands Stoltzfus and Tobin Miller Shearer, authors of Been in the Struggle: Pursuing an Antiracist Spirituality

For a taste of what the authors mean by “antiracist spirituality,” check out “Five Ways to Dismantle Racism Through Spirituality,” an opinion piece recently published in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education . According to Shands Stoltzfus and Shearer, “As a Black woman and a white man our work has crossed racial lines for more than three decades, and we’ve found there are concrete steps to dismantling racism through spirituality.”

  1. Build community. Substantive change has always come about through communities of resistance that foster more than just bodies and minds by putting spirituality at the center.
  1. Accept the discipline of accountability. Framing the principle of accountability in a spiritual manner… calls all people to build the relationships and networks to hold the ego in check.
  1. Walk deeper into rather than away from racial identity. An anti-racist spirituality… calls for deeper engagement with racial identities in all their complexity.
  1. Do the work with joy. Antiracism work devoid of joy does not last. It dissipates all too quickly.
  1. Recognize the sacred in the midst of struggle. An authentic spirituality ties belief to action, accepts limitation, and sparks the imagination.

If you, like me, have been looking for a resource that examines antiracism through the lens of spirituality, I encourage you to check out “Five Ways to Dismantle Racism Through Spirituality.” And if what Shands Stoltzfus and Shearer have to say resonates with you, pick up a copy of Been in the Struggle: Pursuing an Antiracist Spirituality.