July 23, 2013
Lifelong Formation

Standing here in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin case, it seems to me that now is the time for faith communities to host conversations about civil rights, race, diversity, privilege, and forgiveness.

civil rights

As you know, the dialogue is happening everywhere. Here are links to articles and blogs that I read just today:

With the 50th anniversary of so many important Civil Rights events occurring this year, it seems to me that fall programming could easily incorporate a few of these landmark events into education events.

In particular, September 15 marks the 50th anniversary of the racially-motivated bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. I hope you will consider joining faith communities across the country who are participating in Civil Rights Sunday by continuing the Sunday School lesson that was cut short on that fateful day: “A Love that Forgives.” (See Sharon Ely Pearson’s great blog post on Civil Rights Sunday.)

Here are a few other resources you might find useful:

Four Little Girls, a documentary by Spike Lee on the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing during the Civil Rights Movement. This could be shown in a special education or movie night. It would be appropriate for youth through adult.

Similarly, the History Channel offers several outstanding videos on the bombing and Civil Rights movement during the 1960’s.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute offers resources to support education on civil and human rights.

Check my Children’s Ministry blog for additional links to useful resources, including online videos from 16th Street Baptist bombing witnesses, friends and families.

Also, watch for details on the Episcopal Church’s State of Racism webcast, which will air live on Friday Nov. 15, 2013 at 1 pm Central (2 pm Eastern, noon Mountain, 11 am Pacific, 10 am Alaska, 9 am Hawaii). The forum is ideal for live group watching and discussion, or on-demand viewing later. It will be appropriate for Sunday School, discussions groups, and community gatherings.

Do you have any resources or ideas to share? Post them in the comments below.