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Eliminating Racism Resource Center

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10 NRSVUE

The ‘E’ in M.I.L.E. is about Eliminating Racism. We work to Eliminate racism because our Christian faith and Wesleyan theology compel us to do so. Welcome and thank you for your commitment to walk this road!

Together, we enter this journey from multiple paths and perspectives. This page is designed to support individuals and congregations in expanding their understanding of racism; discerning their commitment to anti-racism; and taking action to move church and society toward beloved community.

If you are new to this work, you are invited to move through the categories in order and choose from among the resources. Choose what sparks your curiosity.

Hold sacred your humanity and that of others who are different from you in culture, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, abilities, economic status, educational status and more. Intersecting identities make the work of anti-racism even more complex.

Dismantling racism requires deep personal and spiritual work, as well as critical analysis of our structures. Expect discomfort. Seek understanding. Breathe hope. Act justly.

Learning about racism

Why United Methodists care about racism

Our Wesleyan theology invites us into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that informs our work in the world. UMC Social Principles address the role of the church in eliminating racism, and affirm the equal value of all persons in the eyes of God. Eliminating racism is a priority at all church levels.

Terms to know

The terms used to explain and confront racism are ever-evolving. Language is imprecise and language matters.

Bishop Thomas Bickerton, president of The UMC’s Council of Bishops, shares a message about the denomination’s renewed commitment to eliminating racism within the church, communities & culture.

VIDEO to watch. PBS Origins of Everything: The Origin of Race in The USA. Watch this 9:22 video to get acquainted with how race has been described throughout history.

How did we get here? The roots of racism

Racism, economics and the church are inexorably linked. Dehumanization of Black and Brown people was necessary to justify enslavement and genocide. Race, as a social construct, is the glue that holds social status and bias in place even today.

Church intersections with racism
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    Middle Passage. American Civil War. Colonization. US Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. Smithsonian Heritage Museums. James Baldwin. Race and Society. The Origins of Race. Indian Boarding Schools. Immigration. Chinese Exclusion.

    That was then, this is now

    Racism is the power to create or uphold systems that preference some and marginalize others based on race. Many BIPOC persons have written from their experience of racism. These offerings are generous, vulnerable and revolutionary.

    Why it still matters

    BIPOC voices (general)
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    Racial Justice. Economics of Race. Environmental Racism. Racism in Health Care. Racism and Trauma. Generational Impoverishment. Reparations. Systemic Racism. Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women. Immigration Justice. AAPI Violence. Redlining.

    A reading of “Ain’t I A Woman?” by Sojourner Truth from 1851.

    Confronting Racism: Bias, privilege & challenges

    Do you discriminate? UCLA law professor Jerry Kang exposes the phenomenon of automatic processing and how it relates to explicit and implicit bias.

    Implicit Bias

    Neuroscience offers insights into how the human brain functions when confronted with difference. Implicit bias is the term for the unconscious and nearly automatic preferences for similarity, born of survival instincts. This, combined with embedded stereotypes, explains reactions that our conscious minds might reject or abhor.

    Resources to bookmark
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    Data Informed Selection. Overcoming Biases in Hiring/Education/Health Care etc. Unconscious Bias. Power and Bias. Brain Science and Bias.

    White privilege & white supremacy

    The concept of ‘whiteness’ is rooted in the social construct of race. White privilege is a societal phenomenon that has profound consequences for individuals of color and white persons. Start with the seminal article on white privilege by Peggy McIntosh.

    Additional search topics
    • White in America. White Privilege. White Centeredness. History of Whiteness. Colorism. White Supremacy. Colonization.

    Discussion Starter: What I could not see. Rev. Karen Hernandez, Sage District Superintendent, shares a personal story about a time her white privilege.

    Confronting the sin of racism: A conversation & resource list created by the GNW Area IV Team in 2020.

    Anti-racism challenges

    Paralysis is not an option for BIPOC persons, or for any that face discrimination based on identity or intersecting identities. Paralysis results in continuing injustice. The resources below provide some guidance on acting toward anti-racist aspirations.  

    Reading Materials

    Solidarity: Allyship & racial equity

    Intent and impact are often different. Standing in solidarity with a marginalized person or group requires constraint and the ability to follow. The readings suggest ways that support can be offered and received in right relationship.

    What does allyship mean?


    Additional search topics:

    • White Savior; Race and Privilege. Intercultural Competency. Intersectionality. Power Dynamics.

    Promoting racial equity

    Equity and justice are synonyms: Racial Equity = Racial Justice. The links below provide resources and support for acting toward racial equity. How might you use these resources and your influence in your congregation, community, and institutions to make a difference?

    Tools to promote + take inventory on equity
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    • Data driven factors for racial equity; equity outcomes; confronting institutional racism; structural racism

    Keep up with …

    Additional search topics
    • Intersectionality. Black Voices. Indigenous Voices. Asian and Pacific Islander Voices. Latinx/Latina/Latino/Latine Voices.