Global Diversity Awareness Month

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” – Mahatma Gandhi

October is Global Diversity Awareness month. While we work here at home toward racial reconciliation and diversity, let us remember and celebrate the diversity across the globe. This page is packed full of webinars and books and ways to support and celebrate the beautiful diversity of life.

Don’t forget that Hispanic Heritage Month continues this month until October 15. Look for ways to honor and celebrate your Latinx friends and neighbors.

Educate

Anti-Racist Book Club Returns!

Join a group of curious justice seekers to discuss the book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. Whether you’ve read the book or not, join us via Zoom for lively and safe conversation on Sunday, October 17, at 11 a.m.

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As always, if possible, support Black-owned bookshops

Save the Date and Read Ahead

  • November 21Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy by Rachel Ricketts
  • December 19Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race by Derald Wing Sue

More Book Buzz

Although not part of the Anti-Racist Book Club, this little book is generating a lot of buzz. How to Fight Racism by Jemar Tisby is a handbook for pursuing racial justice with hands-on suggestions bolstered by real-world examples of change. Jemar Tisby offers an array of actionable items to confront racism in our relationships and in everyday life. This book is for anyone who believes it is time to stop compromising with racism and courageously confront it.

As always, if possible, support Black-owned bookshops

Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month

Continue learning, advocating and acting on behalf of our Latinx brothers and sisters. Since last month, we have heard and seen horror stories near the border involving precious immigrant and refugee lives. While the problem simmered to a boiling point, it was not new and it won’t be solved any time soon. Please pray for peace and wisdom for those working toward justice. You can read about a positive step toward helping immigrants in this article about an app that provides immigrants and caseworkers easy access to official government forms, the most up-to-date federal and local news, and information about immigration laws, policies and events, as well as community polling.

And as a way to celebrate this beautiful culture and people, check out a few of these short videos on this PBS website.

Unheard Histories Webinar

Join Temple Rodef Shalom to learn about the past, present and future of racism in our neighborhoods. In each webinar, historians will set the stage, focusing primarily on Arlington and Fairfax Counties, and then local storytellers will discuss their experiences growing up in segregated and desegregated communities. Moving to the present, representatives from local governments will provide an overview of equity efforts underway and advocates from organizations working to address systemic racism will describe their work and how we can get involved.

Regardless of where you live, you’ll benefit from learning our shared history. And, most importantly, you’ll discover how you can help your neighborhood move toward greater racial equity.

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Justice Talk: Sustaining Equitable Health Care Delivery

Three dynamic leaders and speakers will kick off a three-part series that will delve into principles of ethics in public health from three distinct lenses – historic, advocacy, and medical practice. The series is scheduled for October 9, November 13, and December 11.

Send your questions in advance to jab@virginiainterfaithcenter.org. This event is sponsored by the Justice, Autonomy & Beneficence Initiative, a branch of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

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What We’re Reading, Listening To and Watching

Check out Reverend Jacqui Lewis!

Advocate

Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Webinar

In honor of the second Indigenous Peoples’ Day commemoration at Columbia University, watch a panel discussion. Observe “The Role of Courts in Defending Indigenous Peoples’ Rights” on October 12, from 7-8:30 p.m.

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Black-Indigenous Youth Webinar

Encourage a young person in your life to learn about the rich, complex and dynamic history and culture of Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. They will hear from young Native activists and change-makers working toward equity and social justice for Indigenous peoples. The October 11 (1 p.m.) program focuses on how Black-Indigenous youth are working to advance social justice. This Indigenous Peoples’ Day program highlights youth of blended Black and Native heritage who use art, activism, and policy to advance Black and Indigenous solidarity and affect positive change in their communities.

The free webinar, sponsored by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, is targeted at middle and high school students. This webinar and others can be viewed on-demand after the live program.

National Museum of the American Indian

Afghan Advocacy through Snail- or Email

Reach out to Congress to pass legislation that would make Afghan evacuees eligible for the same services provided to all other refugees arriving in the U.S. from across the globe. In this moment of unified support for Afghan refugees, Congress must pass the Biden Administration’s request for “Afghanistan Evacuation and Resettlement” assistance without delay. Let’s give our recently arrived neighbors the tools they need to thrive in their new communities.

Complete this email form OR write a postcard to your congressperson urging them to pass the Resettlement provision.

Making Our Voices Heard through Votes – A CELEBRATION!

In August and September, we made a difference! Together, VOICE and Racial Reconciliation wrote 3,000 postcards urging local voters to vote early starting in mid-September and to protect rare (only 3 of 50) state voting-rights expansions. We write under the auspices of Reclaim Our Vote. From our Racial Reconciliation Initiative, we had 25 writers, including four new writers, plus additional friends through writing parties.

Thanks so much for all your hard work and for caring so much about our community. A special thanks to the dedicated and faithful coordinator, Kelly Motz!

Act

LandBack Movement & Support for Indigenous People

  • Support Redhawk Native American Arts Council, who is committed to helping represent and support practitioners of traditional art forms. They also offer courses in these disciplines to keep them alive. They work to expand the notion of native art to encompass and celebrate modern work, too. “It seems that America has finally allowed Indigenous people to move into the 21st century,” says Redhawk Cultural Director Cliff Matias.
  • Buy and stream music from artists of Native descent. Matias and [Association on American Indian Affairs, Shannon] O’Loughlin were both quick to offer suggestions of artists to check out, including genre-bending rapper Princess Nokia, Academy Award-winner Buffy Sainte-Marie, as well as groups like Peace Poets and A Tribe Called Red.
  • Read work created by those who identify as Indigenous, such as best-selling writer Tommy Orange, author of National Book Critics Circle Award winner There There, and Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, the first Native American with that title. Check out our list of 31 Native American writers, too.
  • Read—and share!—the Indigenous Peoples Day Toolkit from nonprofit IllumiNative, a comprehensive resource that also includes advice on subjects such as, “how to respond to opposition against Indigenous Peoples Day.”
  • Learn about the Landback movement. If you’re interested in supporting the landback movement, follow and/or donate to Indigenous organizers NDN Collective.
  • If you have the means, consider donating to the Native Voter Fund to aid registration efforts, outreach, and protection against voter suppression.
– from “What You Need to Know about Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” Oprah Daily, August 9, 2021

Service Opportunities

Share this information with family, friends and neighbors. We invite all to join in this work for racial reconciliation. Our vision is to transform ourselves, our church and our community through education, advocacy and action.

Sign Up for the Monthly Racial Reconciliation Newsletter