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


In my vision of a beloved community, I see a dazzling, light-filled, breathtakingly beautiful mosaic, a gigantic, all-encompassing mosaic, where each of us can see, can really see, and deeply appreciate each piece. We know that each piece is of immeasurable value. We know that each piece is part of a larger whole, a larger whole that would not be whole, indeed would not BE, without each piece shining through, and being seen and appreciated as its unique self. — Marla Scharf, First Unitarian Church of San Jose, California

This workshop invites participants to put what they have learned into action and to apply knowledge, skills, and critical thinking about multicultural issues to congregational scenarios. There are two activity options presented, either of which will help participants acquire and expand skills and competencies for building and participating in multicultural community. The first is a simulation, in which participants play roles of committee members, leaders, and congregants at a pivotal moment in the life of a hypothetical congregation. The second option engages participants in creating and acting out case studies that reflect actual congregational situations. Either activity requires two full workshops to complete. You will want to consider such factors as group size and style and the learning strengths, challenges, and preferences of individuals as you choose between the two options.

The simulation option invites participants to choose a particular role and stay in character through this and the following workshop. It invites participants to improvise actions and reactions, responding both to other participants and to "wild cards" introduced by the facilitators to increase complexity and learning.

The case study option invites participants to work from a bare "what happened" outline to flesh out participant and situation background, motivations, actions, and reactions. Participants in this activity prepare and present a brief skit to highlight the dilemma and propose actions and responses consonant with antiracist/multicultural community.

Before leading this workshop, review the accessibility guidelines in the program Introduction under Integrating All Participants.


This workshop will:

  • Engage participants in applying knowledge about multicultural issues to a congregational scenario.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Apply knowledge, skills, and critical thinking about multicultural issues
  • Develop, practice, and strengthen multicultural competencies through role-playing, either by participating in a simulation about a pivotal moment in the life of a particular congregation or engaging with case studies that reflect actual congregational situations.