New Conference program offers free racial justice training, facilitated conversations

11/10/2015

Through a partnership with the Connecticut Conference, the Massachusetts Conference now has facilitators available to hold Sacred Conversations on Race and racial justice training programs at local congregations - free of charge. 

Associate Conference Ministers Kelly Gallagher, Dawn Hammond and Don Remick have been trained as facilitators as have Rev. Cynthia Maybeck, Rev. Liz Magill and Russ Vernon-Jones, a lay person from the First Congregational Church of Amherst.  They were trained by the Rev. Da Vita McCallister, Associate Conference Minister for Leadership and Vitality for the Connecticut Conference.

For more than five years the Connecticut Conference has been working on research and curriculum around the issue of racial justice. Using many of the resources from the national setting of the UCC around Sacred Conversations on Race, McCallister has created a three part training for individuals, churches and communities called Realms of Racism.  The Massachusetts Conference facilitators have been trained at the first level of the curriculum, From Tolerance to Unity, which is aimed at creating a common language, beginning to unmask racism and oppression in daily life, and encouraging further work on racial justice.

Congregations wishing to work on racial justice issues can request a facilitator to come to them to lead either:
  • A 90-minute Sacred Conversation on Race, which through the narrative of a recent event will seek to engage the conversation of race in our society.
  • A Level One Realms of Racism Training, which seeks to create a common language around racism, to unmask racism in our lives and to encourage long-term engagement in racial justice ministry.  The training can be scheduled in a two- to six-session series or in a one day retreat format. 
During this first year of this program, groups who engage in either a Sacred Conversation or a training need only pay for any food or site costs. Facilitator fees will be paid out of a small racial Justice Fund which consists of gifts given to the Conference for this purpose over the past several years. 

This program is part of a larger collaboration with both the Connecticut and Rhode Island Conferences. Five people from the Rhode Island Conference have also been trained by McCallister as facilitators, and the intention is that Massachusetts and Rhode Island will share facilitators as needed.
 
To request a facilitator, visit: macucc.org/racejustice and use the form there.










 


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