Meeting Announcments

Please join us at the Second Tuesday Race Forum, held Tuesday, February 13th at 7 PM at the Park Hill United Methodist Church at Montview Blvd and Glencoe St. in Denver. Entrance and accessibility information can be found at the bottom of this announcement.
Tools of Mass Distraction

One way to control people is to constantly divert their attention from critical issues and their root causes with a sideshow that is difficult to look away from.  This is true for those of us who are committed to overcoming the white supremacy that is so deeply built into our society.
For the February discussion we encourage you to think of ways that white supremacy affects you personally, and how you can challenge it on a day-to-day basis.  What are the distractions that are designed to keep us from doing the work of personal transformation, of building trust across differences?

Accessing the Forum
Please remember to come into the church from the large parking lot on the north side of the church that is accessible off of Glencoe St, that is just east of the church. The door to the church you should use is the one that opens onto that parking lot. If you have passengers with mobility difficulties, you can pull up to that entrance and then park in the lot or on the street. We will be meeting downstairs in the youth lounge this month. Go down the stairs on the right inside the door, or go acorss the ventibule and take the elevaotor in the short hallway to the lower level.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Many of you have heard that Park Hill United Methodist Church is now a sanctuary location with a family currently seeking refuge there.  Security has been enhanced as we continue to be welcomed to use the building for our meetings.  We can only enter the building from the parking lot where someone will be there to open the door for us.  You may not be able to gain access if you are more than 45 minutes late.

The Second Tuesday Race Forum meets on the second Tuesday of each month from September to June at the Park Hill United Methodist Church at Montview Blvd and Glencoe St. in Denver. Here is a link to a map on Google: https://goo.gl/maps/oekAR4UReYn
If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be, please go to this link and follow the directions to register to our list: http://eepurl.com/dcnLN5

The Price of Disrupting Oppression

This past year has seen the increased participation of many citizens in activism and protests of all kinds.  A number of athletes have engaged in quiet protests about racial oppression that has generated harsh criticism and reaction at the highest levels.  This New York Times article from September, “The Awakening of Colin Kaepernick,” gives unique insights into the nature of Kaepernick’s activism and resistance that goes far beyond his quiet protests on the playing field.

“The actual point of protest is to disrupt how we move about our daily lives,” Wade Davis, a former professional football player and a black activist who often works with athletes, said in this article. “What Kaepernick did was disrupt one of our most treasured sports. Whether you agree with his tactics or not is one type of conversation. The larger conversation is what he is protesting about. The fact that so many don’t want to have that specific conversation speaks to the fact that they know what is happening in America is beyond tragic.”

Many other athletes have protested silently.  Tommy Smith and John Carlos did not take a knee, but gave a fist at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City during the U.S. national anthem.

harold at AFHM

This raises a number of questions: How can we, each of us, disrupt the daily lives of the people we contact?  What symbolic gesture do we carry that constantly reminds our friends and contacts of the high stakes in the lives of black men and boys especially? In addition to taking to the streets, what can we do to create change?  Even if Kaepernick’s gesture may fade, it raises the idea of constantly renewing our efforts to keep getting attention and disrupting the status quo.

Accessing the Forum
Please remember to come into the church from the large parking lot on the north side of the church that is accessible off of Glencoe St, that is just east of the church. The door to the church you should use is the one that opens onto that parking lot. If you have passengers with mobility difficulties, you can pull up to that entrance and then park in the lot or on the street. This month we will be in the upstairs meeting room, so take the elevator to the second floor and step straight ahead across the hall into our meeting room.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Many of you have heard that Park Hill United Methodist Church is now a sanctuary location with a family currently seeking refuge there.  Security has been enhanced as we continue to be welcomed to use the building for our meetings.  We can only enter the building from the parking lot where someone will be there to open the door for us.  You may not be able to gain access if you are more than 45 minutes late.

We are expanding the scope of the Race Forum to include periodic Saturday sessions (not every month) to focus on book reviews and other special topics.  We are growing a lot and there are so many things happening in our society that need to be discussed and investigated.

The first special session will be:

Saturday, January 20, 2018

10:30 AM

At Park Hill United Methodist Church

Dr. Bob Atwell will lead us in a review and discussion of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, by Ibram X. Kendi.  In this provocative book Kendi, a professor of history and international relations at American University, Washington DC, argues that discriminatory actions come first.  Then racist ideas are developed to justify them. Kendi says that his “definition of a racist idea is a simple one: it is any concept that regards one racial group as inferior or superior to another racial group in any way.”  He explores the history of racist ideas through three distinct approaches: segregationists, assimilationists, and antiracists.

samped from the beginning

 

I have asked the Tattered Cover to make sure plenty of copies of this book are available at the Colfax store.  You will find paperback copies for $19.99 in the new non-fiction section.

Harold Fields

In most societies there may be a dominant religion. Christianity has that leadership role in the United States and most western societies. It is easy for Christian privilege to become invisible, even to non-Christians, unless there is conflict with ideas and values people hold dearly. We have talked a lot about racial hierarchy in Second Tuesday Race Forum meetings, and this month we will apply that understanding and approach to the many dominant expressions of religion in our culture.

Closely related to this: our December meeting falls on the first night of Chanukah, an eight-day Jewish holiday which celebrates light in the face of religious persecution or darkness. It is known as "the festival of lights.” Many communities celebrate the holiday by coming together to light their menorahs, so everyone is welcome to bring a menorah, candles and a lighter if you choose, and we will light together at the beginning of the evening.

Sadly I did not post this announcement until after the meeting. I did post it now so folks visiting our site can see what the December meeting was about.

 

Join us at the Second Tuesday Race Forum, on Tuesday, November 14th at 7 PM at the Park Hill United Methodist Church at Montview Blvd and Glencoe St. in Denver. Entrance and accessibility information can be found at the bottom of this announcement.

 

Preparing for Challenging Conversations around the Holiday Table                                       

 As we enter into the holiday season, we often have to brace ourselves for the inevitable conversations we will be engaging in around the holiday dinner table and holiday parties. How often do we have to think to ourselves, the blood rushing to our face, "Did cousin James really just say that?" Some comments are unintentional; It seems these days, more and more are intentional, as offensive comments are increasingly accepted in our culture. This month, we will consider intentionality and impact, and how we can effectively and compassionately engage across social and political differences to move the needle on social justice.

Accessing the Forum

It seems that some folks have been confused about what entrance to the church to use. There is a large parking lot on the north side of the church that is accessible off of Glencoe St, that is just east of the church. The door to the church you should use is the one that opens onto that parking lot. If you have passengers with mobility difficulties, you can pull up to that entrance and then park in the lot or on the street. Just inside the door, take the stairwell down to the lower level and follow the hallway, turning to the left into the Youth Lounge. If the stairs are difficult, go straight ahead from the door and find the elevator in the narrow hallway.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Many of you have heard that Park Hill United Methodist Church is now a sanctuary location with a family currently seeking refuge there.  Security has been enhanced as we continue to be welcomed to use the building for our meetings.  We can only enter the building from the parking lot where someone will be there to open the door for us.  You may not be able to gain access if you are more than 45 minutes late.