The Intersections of Oppression with Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey

GCORR presents The Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey’s vital conversation talk on the intersection of oppression and her experiences in Ferguson, Mo. We invite you to browse the GCORR website to learn more about the work of GCORR and to find resources to assist you in having your own vital conversations.

 

Additional Resources

Study Guide

Before viewing, post this definition of intersectionality on chart paper a chalkboard, or a dry-erase board: Intersectionality is a concept describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected.

View the video as a group. Invite the group to list out the various ways Dr. Lightsey identifies herself (i.e., “woman,” “clergy,” “African-American,” etc.)

1. What is ‘intersectionality,’ as you understand it? List some ways that understanding intersectionality may affect how the church addresses racial injustice?

2. In what ways does Dr. Lightsey say she has been affected by intersectionality in her life and ministry?

3. What is the “Black Lives Matter” movement? Discuss what you know about it. What does Dr. Lightsey say about it? Why do you think the movement arose?

4. What Christian or community groups in your area are addressing intersections of institutional bias and oppression? Describe their work.

5. How does our congregation (or ministry setting) address intersections of institutional/systemic oppression (racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, etc.) in our worship, Christian education and outreach? What connections are we to make between the call to discipleship and the call to bring about peace and justice in our community? In our denomination? In our world?

6. What more can we do in this ministry setting to further racial justice and equality? What issues in our own community are we willing to address to move us closer toward racial justice?

7. If all people are made in the image of God, what is the problem with All Lives Matter? Would another movement or expanding the Black Lives Matter movement be a way to allow non-black people, especially those who don’t feel welcome in the movement to be included in the work of ending racism and oppression?

 

About

Dr. Lightsey serves as the associate dean for Community Life and Lifelong Learning at Boston University’s School of Theology (a United Methodist seminary) where she is also the clinical assistant professor of Contextual Theology and Practice. Dr. Lightsey is a scholar, social justice activist, and military veteran whose academic and research interests include: classical and contemporary just war theory, womanist theology, queer theory and theology, and African American religious history and theologies. An ordained elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, Dr. Lightsey has pastored local churches and is a sought after writer, speaker, and organizer. She is currently serving as co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society Group, and she is on the board of Reconciling Ministries Network. Dr. Lightsey has been a strong presence of support and advocacy in Ferguson, Mo., where racial injustice persists.

Discussion

1 Comment

  1. Lightsey presents an excellent theological analysis of intersectionality within ‘creative covenantal beloved community’! This blessed wisdom is much needed in the 21st century global context! Those of us who aspire to live in ‘Messianic Christ Consciousness’ must continue to ring the bell toward greater and greater awareness, including enlightenment towards humankind(ness)’s evolution! And so it is! Ashe, Shalom, & Amen!

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GCORR is building the capacity of The United Methodist Church to be contextually relevant and to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.