Racial Equity Initiative: Books to Discuss Together
As part of Calvary’s Racial Equity Initiative (REI) to recognize and to educate ourselves about systemic racism and to explore the unconscious bias in our own hearts and minds, we are launching a series of programs to help promote discussion and understanding.
Register BELOW to join us online via Zoom. Important Note: Participants should get a copy of the book and start reading before the discussion.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
The New Jim Crow, written by legal scholar and civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander, is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States. This system has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the right to vote, won in the 19th century. Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.
Alexander shows that, by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community—and all of us—to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.
You can read more about the book here.
Join us on Thursdays at 6 pm, on November 5, 12, and 19 for a lively discussion of the issues raised by the book, and how we can address systematic racism in our midst.
Calvary’s Racial Equity Initiative statement of purpose:
We recommit to recognizing and dismantling racism and unconscious bias in our own hearts and minds, in the institution of the church, and in the broader culture. We will provide a space to process what we are seeing and learning and to discern our call as a community of faith to take action toward these goals. Our shared set of values and mission calls us to transform lives for Christ: that now calls us to transform our own lives to be less complicit in racist aspects of our culture, to transform the lives of those who have historically faced oppression by helping eradicate systemic racism disproportionately affecting them, and to be the hands and feet of Christ by opposing institutions and practices everywhere that deny the full humanity of all God’s children.