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Race

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2 Summer Reads for your Anti-racism Journey

I’ve recently read three books which have helped me to become aware of my privilege. They can help us recognize how white privilege has shaped social structures, opportunities, and hopes – not only for white people, but for people of colour, as well.

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Righting a Wrong in My Neighborhood

On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln during the civil war, took effect. The news eventually reached Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1865. The proclamation opened up the way for the unraveling of the institution of slavery in the United States. For generations, African Americans have faithfully celebrated “Juneteenth” as the ultimate day that signifies freedom for them.

Becoming Aware of My Privilege

If you grow up with some privilege, you probably don’t recognize it. Unconsciously, you take your “what is” for the furniture of the universe – “just the way things are,” not only for you, but for everybody else. Sure, you may see on television or via social media evidence that people in other places face bad situations – war, famine, natural disasters of one sort or another.

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Diversity and Discernment

I want to tell you about friends of mine, Harouna and Marie Issaka. He is from the Hausa people, and she is both Hausa and Mori, ethnicities of their native Niger. They have followed Jesus through situations that I can only imagine, and I learn more about what it means to follow Jesus through them.

Pentecost and Voices In My Head

A few weeks ago my sister was visiting me and I excitedly wanted to play her some new music that I’ve really been enjoying. She listened and enjoyed it too. But she also raised a concern with me. She had been with me a few days and almost all the music we listened to was made by men. As a musician herself, she told me more about some of the struggles women face in the music industry.

And I realized I was part of the problem. The diversity in my music collection is not great.  

An (Un)Complicated Whiteness: Privilege, Repentance, and the Work of Justice

Most Thursdays, I spend my afternoons at a local halfway house and healing centre, created to prepare Indigenous men for the transition from federal prison to the street. I walk through two sets of glass doors, up a short flight of stairs, and into the sweet smell of sage grass and fried food. Indigenous parole officers, administrators, and parolees mill around a front desk, filling out paperwork and discussing their plans for the weekend. Of the dozen or so people around me, I am the only one with white skin. Brown skin is the norm here, and my whiteness makes me an outsider.

Learning Service from Freddie the Bus Driver

I believe that God has a plan for everyone, but sometimes that fact alone doesn’t feel very comforting. I came across the Youth Ambassador of Reconciliation Program when I was struggling with God and his plans for me. I had just graduated from university and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my degree, or if I wanted to work in my degree’s field at all. I had decided to just take a year off to “figure it out” when I heard about this opportunity to go live among the First Nations in Kitchenuhmayoosib Inninuwag (KI), a remote reserve in northern Ontario.

Covenant Breakers

We are a people who deeply believe in the importance of promises, and also, seem, ironically, to not be very good at keeping them.

The Benedict Option: Musings on the Decline of Western Civilization

I always find it amusing when white Christians debate—exclusively among themselves—the fate of civilization. The rest of us can only be outside observers, passengers in sweeping historical narratives in which we are an afterthought. Not only does this erasure obscure what has actually occurred, it falsifies what these storytellers say about themselves, their traditions, and the wider world.

When you hear discussions about the decline of western civilization and the importance of cultural renewal, ask some of the following questions:

150th Birthday Reflections

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to venture to Toronto with two colleagues and sisters in Christ to see Kent Monkman’s exhibit Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience. Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who uses art to take us on a profound and provocative “journey through Canada’s history beginning a hundred and fifty years before confederation” (quoted from exhibit’s brochure).  

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