Race & Belonging
In this guide, you’ll find resources to equip and educate our community in the areas of racism, oppression, injustice, and inequity. Our hope is that our hearts would be stirred to action in response to all forms of oppression and injustices in our world today.
Vision & Purpose of This Guide
At Reality San Francisco, we are a community following Jesus, seeking renewal in our city. We are blessed in the fact that we reflect the reality of Jesus’ multi-ethnic church. As His church, we are called: to be a light to the world;1 to be a witness of reconciliation2 (both racial and other forms); and to demonstrate, in word and in deed,3 what a community of people looks like with Christ at the center. This task before us is vital and, Christ-willing, will have massive implications in our city and world as a prophetic witness of Christ’s rule.
As Jesus followers, we desire to be transformed by the Holy Spirit and to care about what He cares about. It is critical for our discipleship to Jesus to reflect the Gospel. Jesus gave His people a heavenly vision for renewal — to bring heaven here on earth. We want the heavenly reality to break into the here and now — part of which is to see an end to injustices, oppression, and racism in all forms everywhere.
The following are resources to equip and educate our community in the areas of racism, oppression, injustice, and inequity. Our hope is that our hearts would be stirred to action in response to all forms of oppression and injustices in our world today.
This list is not meant to be a complete list, but rather a jumping-off point to learn more about race, racism, injustice, and inequity and how these constructs were created and play out in current times, and how we can actively move against them. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint; we must pace ourselves, lean in, and not disengage.
If you have any questions, please reach out to our Race & Belonging Ministry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Matt 5:14-16
2. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19.
3. James 2:18
Table of Contents
- Pray, Meditate, and Lament | Prayer, meditation, and lament must be foundations in this journey. They help us keep things in perspective and allow us to hold space for all of our emotions to process what we feel. Lament recognizes the struggles of life and cries out for justice against existing injustices. Action begins with lament, but it doesn’t end there.
- Give Your Time and Creativity | Volunteering at local organizations grounded in combating injustice and inequity, including our Renewal Partner Organizations here in San Francisco.
- Donate | Financially support national and local organizations on the ground combating injustice and inequity like Equal Justice Initiative or the Vera Institute; consider setting up recurring donations with any organization you choose to support.
- Talk About It | Have discussions with your family, friends, and members of your local community. At times, this can be uncomfortable, but we ask you to lean into the discomfort. Direct other people to the resources you find.
- Educate and Engage | Read books, listen to and watch movies about the lived experiences and histories of people from other races and ethnic groups. Engage in a discussion with someone about a topic that you don’t understand or would like to understand better. Set ground rules and seek to understand by listening openly and asking open-ended questions.
- Vote | Exercise your right to vote and pay special attention to who and what you’re voting for on the state and local level; they impact many of the systematic justice issues. Local and state propositions, and positions like mayor, county officials, district attorney, and state attorney specifically, make decisions or hold positions that impact cases like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many more.
- Join an ‘Allyship in Action’ Workshop | During the month of July, the Race & Belonging Ministry is hosting several Allyship in Action Workshops — interactive, fast-paced, facilitated workshops about how to be a better ally to others. In this 2.5 hour workshop hosted over Zoom, men and women of all races and backgrounds will navigate real-life situations where allies are needed. You’ll walk away with the tools to be an active and intentional ally and support for friends, community members, and colleagues of all backgrounds. Learn more and register here.
Daring Discussions Guide
Daring Discussions is a campaign encouraging you to have hard conversations in an effort to find unity — not division. The goal of Daring Discussions is for participants on different sides of a given issue to learn about one another’s personal experiences and perspectives as a starting place to gain compassion, respect, and stronger relationships. Participants are asked to commit to avoiding judgment, defensiveness, and anger and to try to express any negative feelings and different views constructively from a place of giving as opposed to being oppositional or needing to be right.
The Daring Discussions toolkit includes tips on how to pick a topic to discuss, sample questions, strategies to have a productive conversation, and more. Here is the toolkit to help guide you through meaningful conversations with someone about a topic or set of topics that will help you build empathy and compassion for marginalized people.
Gospel & Race Discussion Dinners
In 2019, Reality SF hosted discussion dinners across the city to capstone “The Gospel & Race” teaching series. If you would like to coordinate a discussion dinner on “The Gospel & Race” amongst your friends or community, here is our facilitators guide. This material includes a set of group guidelines for helping the group navigate what can be a complicated topic to discuss. Please read these at the start of your dinner to guide the group toward respectful, open, and nonjudgmental dialog.
Having Difficult Conversations
One of the immediate first steps you can take to advance conversations about racism, oppression, marginalization, and injustice is to talk about it, specifically with family and friends. We understand that this can be challenging, and at times uncomfortable. So, we’ve included a few resources to help you prepare for having these conversations:
- Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen (Book)
- Reality SF Lecture on Difficult Conversations with Michael Zachariah: Michael Zacharia adapts material from the bestselling book Difficult Conversations, and teaches on all the elements that are essential to any difficult conversation. The worksheet used in this lecture can be found here.
Media, Books, & Articles
We strongly encourage you to listen or watch the teachings on this topic from “The Gospel & Race” teaching series in addition to the other teaching resources provided below. This list below is not exhaustive and should be considered a starting point for anyone looking to learn more about the history of inequities and how they were created.
Media (Audio & Video)
Reality SF teachings, lectures, and podcast episodes on the topics of race and justice:
- Reality SF | The Gospel & Race Teaching Series
- Reality San Francisco Podcast | Racism for Beginners
- Reality San Francisco Podcast | How to Talk About Race with Others
- Reality San Francisco Podcast | Embracing Grief & Loss
- Reality San Francisco Podcast | Balancing Lament & Action
- Reality San Francisco Podcast | A Critical Conversation on Identity
- Reality SF | Lecture on Power, Injustice, and the Image of God with Andy Crouch
- Reality SF | Lecture on Unity in the Midst of Diversity with Christena Cleveland
- Reality SF | Lecture on the Biblical Ordering of Justice with Mako Nagasawa
Here are some recommended audio and video resource as well as films from other sources outside of our church:
- Gospel & Race Conference | Can You Drink the Cup by Rich Villodas
- Pass the Mic Podcast | Why Do Multiethnic Churches Fail?
- Anti-Asian American Racism: A Conversation with Daniel Lee and Mark Labberton (Fuller Theological Seminary)
- A Conversation on Race: A series of short films about identity in America (The New York Times)
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Amazon Prime or YouTube (free through June 2020)
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix and currently Free on YouTube
- American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
- Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada) — Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent
- Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
- The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
- The Joy Luck Club (Wayne Wang) — Amazon Prime
- The Big Sick (Michael Showalter) — Amazon
- Real Women Have Curves (Patricia Cardoso) — Hulu
- The Talk: Race in America — PBS
- Native Americans Documentary Series — PBS
- Asian Americans Documentary Series — PBS
- Black in America Since MLK: And Still I Rise — PBS
- Latino Americans Documentary Series — PBS
- Latin History for Morons (John Leguizamo) — Netflix
- The Color of Compromise (Jemar Tisby) — Amazon Prime
- Interconnected: Confronting Racial Prejudice Between Asian American and African American Communities — (Asian American Christian Collaborative)
The following is a list are books that were used for research and cultural analysis during The Gospel & Race teaching series. Some of these books are Christian and some are not. We believe that these books are important resources to help shape our thinking with the Scriptures as our ultimate authority and guide.
- The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby
- Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times by Soong Chan Rah
- Right Color, Wrong Culture by Bryan Loritts
- Let Justice Roll Down by John M. Perkins
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White by Daniel Hill
- Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Christian Smith and Michael O Emerson
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- “Racial Reconciliation May Not Be What You Think It Is” by Rich Villodas
- “George Floyd, Empathy, and Making Room for the Fire” by Jay Kim
- “Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- “Eight Black Church Leaders on Ahmaud Arbery Injustice” by Gena Thomas
- “What Is The Model Minority Myth?” by Sarah-Soonling Blackburn
- “Black Parents Describe ‘The Talk’” by Germaine Lopez
- “Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life“
- “Why We Need to Talk About Race“
- “How Churches Can Be a Prophetic Voice for Racial Justice“
Resources for Children and Parents
- Talking to Children About Racial Bias by Ashaunta Anderson & Jacqueline Dougé (Article)
- “Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America” by Jennifer Harvey (Article)
- “A Family Guide to Talking About Race by American Anthropological Association” (Article)
- A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory (Children’s book)
- Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, PhD (Children’s book)
- Let’s Talk: How to Talk to Your Kids About Race — PBS (Videos)