Youth Conversations on Race

Youth Conversations on Race

In Fall 2015, the Oreon E. Scott Foundation awarded the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana a grant to implement a reconciliation program for the younger generation of our region. Born out of the common desire to do more in addressing systemic racism, after an inactive period due to change in the leadership of the program, the project has been redesigned. The main goal is that our own youth can create safe spaces for learning and developing a true community that ultimately will embrace and promote the mission of reconciliation among their peers and especially within their congregations. How will they accomplish this?

  • Creating safe spaces across diverse racial, socio-economic and generational identities;
  • Witnessing, serving, reflecting and sharing about racial justice work in the region and nation;
  • Visiting/learning from local sites and organizations working for racial justice and reconciliation.
  • Building relationships with each other and between their congregations;
  • Creating a shared mission for racial justice and reconciliation according to the pressing needs of society.

How will this happen? We’re glad you asked!

The plan is to gather throughout 2018 as many youth as possible (7th through 12th grade) to talk about the intersection of race and other social issues in society. There will be two all-day retreats and five experiential gatherings in which we will discuss the intersectionality of race and other topics/social aspects (i.e. poverty, homelessness, the justice system, immigration, mental health, and gender/sexuality). See the graphic for dates. Depending on the congregations participating we will rotate the location of our meetings.

We encourage all Youth Leaders, Youth Ministers and Pastors to sign up the youth in their congregations (even if it is only one!) and attend these events. The youth attending both of the retreats and at least three of the five experiential gatherings will be able to apply to go on a national trip the first week of Summer 2019 (right after the youth get out of school) to learn more about justice and reconciliation. We are still defining the planning and logistics of the trip to visit different organizations in the state of Georgia. There will only be 10 seats available for the national experience!

Participants going on the national visit phase of this project, in partnership with their local congregation, will cover the $150 registration fee to assist offsetting some of the costs of travel, lodging, and meals from the grant’s funds.

We firmly believe that TODAY is the day to provide spaces for our younger generation to develop a deep sensitivity and commitment for justice and reconciliation! So, we pray that your youth may be energized about this project and that they can join us for the regional phase of it and then apply for the national trip!

Click here to sign up for the opening retreat (March 24, 2018).

Contact Bere Gil Soto, Reconciliation Program Minister

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