Friday, March 16, 2018

#AntiRacismForLent Week 4: Community & Beloved Community

What is community?  How does it come into being?  Do people always, "naturally," group together with their own "kind?"  Or, do we discover that systems have been in place for a long time to keep certain people separate from the ones who are most preferred?

This week, I got to create the content for our Repenting Of Racism page, and I was excited to draw heavily upon my new life in the community of Detroit.

How has your sense of the word “community” been limited to the neighborhood you’ve been living in? 

Do you find yourself living in a community that some might view as “over-advantaged?”

How have you mis-understood other communities?

What is God showing you about His definition of community?

Part of truly learning how to understand a community other than our own involves, first, removing the blockages and misconceptions many of us have been raised to maintain.  One might argue that this is close to the heart of the Samaritan parables of Jesus, casting the hated outsider as the hero in several passages. 

For today’s #HabitOfJustice, watch this video by Imaeyen Ibanga​ on the community-based work of The Black Panthers.   What surprises you as you watch?  Does it rub against understandings you have trusted for decades about black activists? 

Part 2, and if you have time to dig deeper: I, Matthew​, personally invite you to watch this recent video made here in Detroit last December by Building the Engine of Community Development in Detroit​ (BECCD) about a diverse community bringing many stakeholders together to think deeply about change in our city:

I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, and I was told by many of my childhood neighbors that black Detroiters were dangerous and ready to hurt me.  Living here, I have certainly found that to be false, and beyond that, incredibly sad.  This video shows a glimpse of the many ways a diverse community can truly commit to work together, despite disagreements and difference of backgrounds.  

Based on narratives you may have heard about #Detroit, as the largest city to file for bankruptcy, how does this sit with you? -Matthew

For more on Repenting of Racism for Lent, click here.

#AntiRacismForLent is being facilitated by Maddie Joy​, Luke Arthur​, Lauren Grubaugh​, Daniel Russell​, Matthew John Schmitt​, Meggie Anderson-Sandoval​ and Lydia Lockhart​ as sparked by an idea from Andre Henry​. We invite you to join us in action and in conversation. Keep up with the daily habits of justice on the #RepentingOfRacism For Lent Facebook page, linked above.

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