Saturday, January 23, 2010
Last week, January 16, 2010, I hosted a workshop titled “Examining Race in a ‘Post-Racial’ Society” at Northminister Presbyterian Church in North St. Louis County. The event was sponsored by the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy of the Presbyterian Church, at the Northminister Presbyterian Church, 1570 Chambers Road, Dellwood, Missouri.
I developed the video to generate conversation and explore societal realities under the illusion of a "post racial" environment. After the presentation, we held a panel discussion with guest panelists that included Reena Hajat of the Diversity Awareness Partnership; Redditt Hudson, former police officer and ACLU Program Associate; Dr. Van Vaughn, Missouri Baptist University professor and expert in Cross-cultural Counseling; William Tate, Washington University Professor of Education in Arts and Sciences and St. Louis Juvenile Court Judge Jimmy Edwards, who also founded Innovation Concept School for children in our area considered "at-risk."
The presentation and conversations were riveting. The next day, I followed up with a speech before the Westminster Congregation and guests which I hope to post here soon. The outcome of the workshop and the speech was an intense desire to do something meaningful and productive while Obama is still in office.
Not only was I inspired by the conversations, I was pleased to learn more about the Presbyterian Church’s "Self-Development of People," ministry. Through grants and partnerships with community groups, the church focuses on empowering economically poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people trying to escape the structures that perpetuate inequality and injustice. One of the key elements necessary to foster significant change, I believe, are programs like this one that empower people and communities to bring about the "change we've been waiting for."
The video is the first of a three-part multi-media series I'm developing. The goal is to remind folks about the power of perceptions and instigate an agenda for the creation of revitalized, sustainable communities while Obama is still in office. Like I've said, nothing is promised. Therefore we can only hold ourselves accountable if we don't capitalize on the magic of the moment.