It's a call for our time.
Racism continues to hold a grip on our nation. We see this enduring reality through the widening wealth gap between blacks and whites; disparate health impacts for African Americans from Covid 19, child birth, and climate change; and the treatment of people of color in the criminal justice system – to name just a few examples. Over the centuries, white faith communities have been deeply complicit in this story of oppression. But we believe there’s a stirring among people of faith, a hunger, for racial justice and healing. Many just aren’t sure how to go about it and could use a partner along the way.
How we Work
The mission of Interwoven Congregations is to help faith communities in the U.S. become agents for racial justice and healing -- within their congregations, in their community, and across society at large. Understanding that white people bear the primary responsibility in uprooting racism, our strategy is to first engage with individual white faith communities about the realities of racism and then second equip those congregations to take action to promote racial equity and healing -- including, as appropriate, thru partnerships with faith communities of different racial compositions.
Congregations must own this work. Interwoven Congregations' role is to encourage and offer guidance to congregations, help them be accountable for their own antiracism goals, and then learn ourselves along the way. But it is the congregations themselves that will carry this work forward. In that context, Interwoven Congregations supports faith communities as they:
Confront the Reality of Racism. Examining the reality of racism across our history to the present day is a foundational step in seeking racial justice and healing. This can take place through a congregation’s anti-racism self-assessment; group studies; visits to historical sites and cultural institutions, and more.
Build Relationships. Reaching across the divide of race is one way to disarm the biases that we all carry. It also can further ignite peoples' commitment to pursuing racial justice. Interwoven Congregations helps congregations development those relationships through congregational partnerships and other strategies.
Practice Antiracism. Learning about racism and building relationships are precursors to the most important step of all: taking action to address systemic racism within the congregation, in the local community and in society at-large. Interwoven Congregations helps congregations develop their own strategies to help uproot systemic racism.
Sustain the Work. Pursuing racial justice and healing is challenging, long-term work. So Interwoven Congregations focuses on ways to help faith communities maintain their antiracism efforts over time. Rooting our efforts in our respective faith traditions is one key ingredient. On our own, fighting racism might overwhelm us. But we're not alone.
In response to a national upswing in bigotry, we focused our November 2022 issue of Interwoven Congregations Quarterly on examining these trends and how faith communities are taking action against bigotry. As part of that issue, Interwoven Congregations released the following statement:
The Governing Board of Interwoven Congregations:
Brother John Anderson
The Governing Board of Directors of Interwoven Congregations includes five people who are passionate about social justice and the role faith communities can play in addressing racism. The Board members first convened in February 2020 and affirms the mission of Interwoven Congregation to help faith communities become agents of racial justice and healing in the United States.
We our honored to have Ambassador Andrew Young and other leading voices serve on the Interwoven Congregations Advisory Board.
Rev. Pat Jackson serves as the Executive Director of Interwoven Congregations.
Interwoven Congregations is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
Please contact us to:
Learn more about Interwoven Congregations,
Find out more about how your faith community could participate as an Interwoven Congregation,
Subscribe to Interwoven Congregations Quarterly (free), a journal designs to encourage, challenge and sustain you in our work for racial justice and healing,
Receive a link to the Congregational Antiracism Quotient Survey, an online tool which can help faith communities discern where they are in their antiracism journey and what their next steps might be.