If churches want to realize Dr. King's dream, they must first embrace a dream of racial justice and equality . . . must become places that all racial groups can call their own, where all racial groups have the power to influence the major decisions of the church, where the culture and experiences of all racial groups are not just tolerated, but appreciated. — Korie L. Edwards, in The Elusive Dream: The Power of Race in Interracial Churches

This workshop develops participants' skills to identify visible and invisible ways congregational norms, culture, policies, and practices intentionally or unintentionally reinforce White privilege and dominant White culture while marginalizing People of Color and others marginalized by race or ethnicity. The workshop introduces definitions of power and authority and invites participants to share perspectives on how power is held and exercised in their congregation. The group creates a power roadmap for the congregation, which helps surface patterns in the way the congregation grants formal and informal authority and power to people in particular roles, positions, and groups.

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

Goals

This workshop will:

  • Introduce the practice of surfacing the unseen using personal story as well as the examination of congregational structures
  • Guide the group to discern who has power in the congregation and how power is shared and managed
  • Demonstrate how the systematic workings of racism are connected to the way power is held in the congregation.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Share their personal stories about messages received about race
  • Learn definitions of power and authority and identify the difference between formal and informal sources of authority and power in congregations
  • Discern who holds power in their congregation and take note of how power is shared and managed.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.