Racial Justice Team
The Racial Justice Team is a group of church members committed to anti-racism work in our community.
The RJT was commissioned to listen to and strengthen congregational relationships and partnerships with BIPOC leaders, congregations, and organizations; to advocate for anti-racist policies and practices; to invite and encourage the congregation into deeper learning and reparative practices of worship and daily living, and to lead our congregation in taking tangible action steps on behalf of racial justice and equity.
Martha Sloan and Tracey Gruver are the co-chairs.
- Racial Equity Institute – racialequityinstitute.org
- Equity Over Everything – equityovereverything.org
- Center for Racial Equity in Education – creed.nc.org
Stay up to date with what is happening in our city and county
- Equity and Inclusion | The City of Asheville (ashevillenc.gov) and Equity-Focused Budget Engagement – PublicInput.com links both with the city of Asheville.Asheville City Council meetings are televised live on the Asheville City Channel, typically at 5:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.Contact Maggie Burleson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-259-5601 to be added to the email distribution list to receive City Council agendas and City Council-related notifications.
- Keep up with the Historic Reparations Process in the City of Asheville as it happens. See all meeting dates and details here.
Books to Read
White Fragility Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism By Robin Diangelo
Diangelo brings language to the emotional structures that make true discussions about racial attitudes difficult.
White Too Long By Robert P. Jones
Jones explains the legacy of white supremacy in American Christianity.
Caste The Origins of Our Discontents By Isabel Wilkerson
Wilkerson gives an immersive account, with stories about real people, of how America through history has been shaped by a rigid caste system…a hierarchy of human rankings.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
“An unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.” Quote from Amazon
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
“The National Book Award-winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.” Quote from Amazon
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You: A Remix of Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X.
Kendi and Jason Reynolds This reimagining of Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America and inspires hope for an anti-racist future. Shorter and easier to grasp than Kendi’s original book.
The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby
An “enlightening and compelling” history, the book is “equal parts painful and inspirational.” It details “how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices.” It guides readers “ in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.” Quotes from Amazon.
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
The author “gathers meticulous research showing how government at all levels long employed racially discriminatory policies to deny blacks the opportunity to live in neighborhoods with jobs, good schools, and upward mobility.” Quote from the Washington Post
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
This 2010 book is aimed at the specific audience of “people who care deeply about racial justice but who…do not yet appreciate the magnitude of the crisis faced by communities of color as a result of mass incarceration,” according to the author in a new preface to her book.
The Sum of Us: What White Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
McGhee offers “a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color.” Quote from the New York Times.
Videos to Watch
- This Divided Land – YouTube
This video from Habitat for Humanity – Asheville is an eye-opener and gives some history of racial inequality and housing.
Racial Justice Book Club
FPCA has a monthly book club that reads books and discusses them with an eye towards awareness of racism and racial reconciliation. Please contact us if you would like more information on this group!
Racial Justice Book Club, March
The Racial Justice Book Club provides the opportunity to read thought-provoking books that stimulate conversation about the injustices involving race that happened in the past, and are often still occurring in today's society. It offers group members a chance to...