The Anti-Racism Task Force (AR-TF) was formed to focus on offering learning, giving and acting opportunities that address racial justice. A year ago the First Parish church summer read was Waking Up White, and we held a moderated discussion of the book in September with 40 people attending. Book discussions and the showing of films on racism continued through the winter and spring. In June the Parish Committee with the support of other FPL Committees supported the Task Force proposal to put a Black Lives Matter banner on the sanctuary.
This summer’s church read is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and a discussion is scheduled for Sunday, September 27 at 4 pm. Over the summer four films were shown, followed by discussions with 15-35 people attending. One film was on voter suppression and the other three were on criminal justice and incarceration. Two new films are scheduled for screening this Fall: The Black List: Intimate Portraits of Black America on September 17th and The Talk: Race in America on October 1st. Watch the weekly News Briefs for details.
Several giving and donation programs were organized this summer for Bay Cove Early Intervention Families, Bay Cove CASPAR shelter, Solutions At Work, and Cradles to Crayons. Two collection drives continue, one for the Solutions At Work homeless program needing personal toiletries and snacks, and the other for Cradles to Crayons needing school age children’s masks. Also, the Reclaim the Vote postcard drive for voter turnout sponsored by NAACP continues under the AR-TF. CLICK HERE for information on our efforts with Reclaim the Vote.
Recently the AR-TF has made connections with several Lincoln and Sudbury groups working on racial justice issues: Lincoln’s WIDE (Welcome Inclusive Diversity Equity), Lincoln Sudbury CORE, the Lincoln Library, and St. Anne’s Racial Justice Allies. Lots of ideas are being discussed to collaborate on learning and acting.
The AR-TF has been planning for the coming year, meeting every two weeks. Our goals include
- Continue book selections, film showings and follow up discussions
- Continue voter turnout drive through Reclaim the Vote
- Consider additional action projects, eg. housing and criminal justice
- Encourage participation in our efforts within the church and in the town.
- Work collaboratively with other Lincoln groups focused on racial justice and reach out beyond Lincoln eg. Black churches and other racial justice organizations outside Lincoln
Mary Helen Lorenz, Acting Chair Anti-Racism Task Force
Mary Jo Veling