By Kendra Flory
The October offering from the Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College will be “Everything You Wanted to Know About Race, but Were Afraid to Ask: Part I” to be held online via Zoom on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Eastern time) and presented by Eleanor Hubbard.
In this safe space, in which any question can be asked, we will explore together what it means to be a white Christian in a multicultural US. Part I, on Oct. 16, will provide a basic understanding of the sociological concepts of race: identity, culture, inequality and privilege, social structure, intersectionality, and critical race theory. Part II, to be held on Nov. 13, will envision a more equitable society by utilizing these concepts to become better allies as white Christian communities. Through mini-lectures and lively discussions, together we will critique cultural representations of race and whiteness as they are reflected in our own congregations.
Part I is designed as an introduction to talking about race and will help participants answer the question, Am I a racist? This class will accommodate all levels of knowledge from the beginner to the advanced. Part II will continue the discussion by using Christian and church imagery to understand how to critically analyze race and will help answer the question, Is my church racist? This class will build on Part I and help participants use their sociological understandings of race with skill and compassion.
Each session will be online via Zoom from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Eastern time), and participants may attend one or both classes. Everyone is welcome, no matter their racial identity, age, or skill level, as we all have been influenced by cultural information and misinformation about race. Christians of color can provide a context and an understanding of whiteness that may be difficult for white Christians to see. Young Christians understand today’s music, art, television, movies, and gaming culture and how they influence our church life. “Newbies” to discussions of race can help us see racial attitudes and beliefs with new eyes.
Eleanor A. Hubbard is skilled at leading difficult discussions about race and will make sure that all are heard without perpetuating feelings of guilt and shame. All questions will be honored and taken seriously. Hubbard is a graduate of McPherson College and has her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her areas of expertise include gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, social class, and race.
Continuing education credit is available for $10 per course. During the registration process, you will have the opportunity to pay for CEUs and give an optional donation to the Ventures program. To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship and to register for courses, visit www.mcpherson.edu/ventures.
— Kendra Flory is advancement assistant at McPherson (Kan.) College.
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