Ask about everyone’s week, along with prayers for joys and sorrows.
Open with Prayer
Ask for a volunteer for someone to pray.
Introduction to “Deconstructing White Privilege” Video
All of us must seek the light of God, the light of truth in recognizing oppression. We begin to do so in this session, which focuses on the oppressive behavior that is born out of white privilege. Dr. Robin DiAngelo is transparent about white privilege couched in explicit and implicit biases in the video “Deconstructing White Privilege,” the first in a series of Vital Conversations on Racism.
Dr. DiAngelo describes the most obvious and explicit aspects of racism and white privilege, while going beyond the surface of racism. Her video serves as a foundation on understanding racism and white privilege for the remaining six videos in the Vital Conversations series.
1. What ideas presented by Dr. DiAngelo stood out for you? How does she describe her experience as one who recognizes herself as a white person, especially when it comes to interacting with people of color?
2. How does denying the existence of racism and white privilege perpetuate racial inequality and unequal outcomes? What are explicit and implicit biases? Give some examples from the video along with some of your own.
3. How can identifying the pillars–individualism, universalism, internalized superiority, good/bad binary, segregation, and mis-education–help in challenging racism? What are the next steps?
4. Dr. DiAngelo says we are not “operating in the spiritual realm” when it comes to racial issues? Is this true for Christians and what does that mean concerning racism and justice both theologically and biblically? Based on our Christian experiences and the Bible how can we begin to act against inequity and racism?
Closing Prayer in Unison
Light a candle as a reminder of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Most High God, You urge us to advocate for justice for the widowed and the orphaned. For our contemporary times, one form of oppression is against people of color through white privilege. Open our eyes to the impact racism has on the widowed and the orphaned . . . the African- American woman brutalized by the police . . . the Mexican American being told derisively to go back to Mexico. Use us to face white privilege and dismantle racism. Amen.
The Church looks to GCORR to facilitate, resource, guide, and support discussions on how to move to efficacy, justice, and courageous, positive action. It is our hope that these videos transform lives, congregations, and communities. Participation in our Vital Conversations: A Video Series will jumpstart the conversation about racial justice, diversity, and effectiveness in your congregation or community. GCORR begins this series with Dr. Robin DiAngelo.
Dr. Robin DiAngelo is the author of What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy and has been an anti-racist educator, and has heard justifications of racism by white men and women in her workshops for over two decades. This justification, which she calls “white fragility,” is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.