Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building the World We Dream About: An Anti-racism Multicultural Program

Alternate Activity 1: Photographs from Missing Voices

Activity time: 75 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Identify individuals from racially or ethnically marginalized groups in your faith community, paying special attention to a diversity of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, economic class, nationality, levels of physical ability, and so on. Explain the activity and invite them to participate.
  • Give a disposable camera to each person who agrees to participate. Invite them to take a series of photographs that, through their own eyes, describes the relationship they have with your congregation. Give them a copy of Handout 1, The State of Racial/Ethnic Relations at ________ [name of your congregation] and suggest they use the categories (e.g., "policies and practices," "worship and spirituality") as a framework for areas on which to focus their lens. Give the guest photographers a deadline to return the camera to you.
  • Collect the cameras and develop/print the photographs. Invite your guest photographers to view the photographs and select images they believe best represent the story they wish to tell about how they perceive your congregation.
  • Prepare the selected photographs and display them as if they were in an art gallery.
  • Invite guest photographers to the workshop.

Description of Activity

Activity 1, Filling the Void of Missing Voices, may well be awkward for racially or ethnically marginalized people in your faith community, especially if they have a tenuous relationship with your congregation or do not feel comfortable "speaking truth" in a public forum. It is important to raise and honor such experiences, even as you use this activity as an alternate. As with Activity 1, the goal of this activity is to bring voices of racially or ethnically marginalized and oppressed groups into the consciousness of the congregation.

Invite photographers to stand by their images while participants in the workshop browse the gallery. Invite photographers to share/explain the meaning behind the chosen image.

Lead an open discussion with participants and guest photographers to flesh out themes and issues raised by the photographs.