[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society will offer two public events related to racial justice and reconciliation during General Convention 2015, combining the visual effect of video and the impactful offerings of panel discussions.
The events are: screenings and discussions of Traces of the Trade; and a screening of a portion of The Psalm of Howard Thurman with the film’s director facilitating a panel discussion.
“Both events seem especially important in light of events in Charleston, South Carolina,” noted Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer. “These events will lead to worthwhile conversations and may be an effective way to further the work of racial justice and reconciliation in dioceses in the weeks and months following General Convention. “
“Episcopalians throughout the Church have lamented the violent deaths of African-Americans in South Carolina, Ferguson, Staten Island, Baltimore, and beyond, and want to answer our Baptismal call to ‘strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being,’” commented Heidi Kim, Racial Reconciliation Missioner for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. “These two films and the discussions around them will provide opportunities for participants to connect with others committed to the ministry of racial justice and reconciliation, and begin to discern together how to move this work forward in our congregations, dioceses, and Provinces.”
Traces of the Trade
Episcopalian filmmaker Katrina Brown is a descendant of the DeWolf family, the largest slave-trading dynasty in U.S. history. Traces of the Trade, a noted PBS documentary, follows Brown and nine DeWolf descendants as they confront this legacy by retracing the Triangle Trade, and visiting the DeWolf hometown of Bristol, Rhode Island; slave forts in Ghana; and ruins of a family plantation in Cuba. Traces of the Trade creates a deeper awareness of the connection between the history of slavery and continuing racism in America today, and opens the door to new conversations and hope for reconciliation.
Following the two screenings, there will be a facilitated conversation led by Dain Perry, a descendant of the slave-traders, and his wife Constance, a descendant of slaves. They have screened the film throughout The Episcopal Church in dioceses and parishes.
Traces of the Trade will be shown Sunday, June 28, noon – 2:30 pm Mountain andTuesday, June 30, 6:45 pm – 9:15 pm at the Salt Lake City Marriott.
The Psalm of Howard Thurman
Director Arleigh Prelow will introduce and share a segment of her new film, The Psalm of Howard Thurman, with a panel discussion immediately following.
Against devastating scenes of lynchings, cross-burnings, and war, the Rev. Howard Thurman (1899-1981) soars with faith and hope. He was the first Dean of the Chapel of Howard University; Dean of March Chapel at Boston University; author of more than 20 books; and the first African-American to meet Mahatma Gandhi.
Prelow is an Emmy award-winning independent producer, director, writer, and researcher of documentary films and videos, and founder of InSpirit Communications and Film.
The Psalm of Howard Thurman will be shown Wednesday, June 24 at 7 pm – 9 pmMountain at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center Ballroom A.
For all discussion panels, participants will include Deputies and Bishops.
The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church will be held June 25 – July 3 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah). The exhibit hall at General Convention will be open from Tuesday, June 23 through Wednesday, July 1. The Domestic and Foreign Missionary exhibit space will be in a prominent place in the hall marked by banners in three languages.
The Episcopal Church’s General Convention is held every three years, and is the bicameral governing body of the Church. It comprises the House of Bishops, with upwards of 200 active and retired bishops, and the House of Deputies, with clergy and lay deputies elected from the 109 dioceses and three regional areas of the Church, at more than 800 members.