Notes From Anti-Racism Meeting – March 21, 2021

Several UCF and community members have participated in classes, book discussions, and film discussions on anti-racism over the last year. On March 21 the Social Action and Adult Religious Education Committees invited the congregation to brainstorm ways we, both as individuals and as a fellowship, could put into action some of the anti-racism ideas we have studied.

Penny Hooper facilitated the meeting. Brainstormed below are ideas of ways to address racism:

  • We have an active NAACP group in our county – more people could attend
  • Voting issues: work on Get Out the Vote, Voter Registration, and redistricting
  • Partner with LWV on redistricting education
  • Citizens for Diversity in Education – work with Superintendent and school administration to encourage diversity in the schools – several people in our congregation are already in this group
  • Get more involved in fighting against racism towards those of Asian extraction
  • Have a social media presence on anti-racism
  • Continue our musical connections with Black churches – possibly host NAACP gospel festival
  • Reconnect with Sinai congregation
  • Do another fundraiser for the NAACP Scholarship Fund for this year – Perhaps do a raffle
  • Make a commitment to hold ourselves and others accountable when racism occurs – “an ouch and an oops”
  • Look into the group Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) – White people who are allies in the fight may not be taking charge –
  • Help with housing for poor people, especially in Latinx who live in terrible housing – explore possibilities in this area – Land Use Planning in Beaufort?
  • Helping provide food to Latinx people who are afraid to go to food banks because they may be asked for papers. Food Waste and Recovery is working on this.
  • Increase minimum wage – a living wage. Many people cannot afford housing. Contact our representatives in Washington about this.
  • Encourage expansion of Medicaid in NC – contact our representative in Raleigh
  • Spread the word that anyone who qualifies for unemployment insurance can qualify for ACA insurance for 2021, no matter what their income.
  • Immigrant families can apply for ACA insurance for members of the family who have legal status. Anyone in the family who is not applying for health insurance will not be asked about their immigration status
  • Reparations – what would this look like?
  • Bystander training – how to be an effective bystander
  • Read “The Sum of Us” by Heather McGhee – economic impact of racism –
  • The ARRG is reading this now. Penny is ordering books at the half-price bookstore.
  • Discussion: What would you do in a situation like watching George Floyd’s killing?
  • Make sure that people understand how systemic racism is and how many areas it affects
  • Partner with League of Women Voters and Interfaith Power and Light in efforts on redistricting and voter rights. How do we share this information with people of color? NAACP and partnering with Black churches?
  • Bring our anti-racism discussions into the community – panel discussion, open to the public and advertised widely. BLM group did this last summer – need to do it again. We could support this effort possibly in Zoom meetings.
  • Liz suggested that we need to focus on two or three of these ideas and not spread ourselves too thin.
  • It was decided to send out a survey to the congregation to ask what areas of anti-racism they would like to focus on. Liz, Barb, Susan and Amy will work on this. Amy mentioned that the book that many of us have, Widening the Circle, has a tool to find out where the congregation is on racism.
  • We will send the survey to Lela Faye as well as who can fill it out and also share with St. Andrews congregation if she wishes.

Sarah agreed that we will hold off for now on a statement of Conscience and continue to educate the congregation on this topic. We will still plan to put out an SOC in the future. We also decided to do the survey first, then decide which actions to carry out based on the survey results. Then perhaps we could consider doing a community forum. Meeting adjourned.