How to receive the Racial Justice Newsletter for information on Action Module
List of documentaries and presentations included in the History and Issues Modules
List of books recommended by our participants
After several years of activities such as book groups, discussion groups and videos, in 2021 the Racial Justice Advocates decided to organize our work as the “Racial Justice Journey.”
We divided the “Racial Justice Journey” into three parts: History, Issues, and Action. As an introduction to the journey, our summer work featured the works and words of James Baldwin in a “James Baldwin Summer.”
In the fall of 2021, we began our History Module. We met almost every Thursday (except for Holidays) from September to the beginning of January. About 200 individuals came to at least one of our meetings. We learned that the history that most of us were taught was “white” history, and we sought to remedy that history by including Black and Indigenous History. People were astounded at what was omitted from most of our history courses and horrified at some of our history.
We want to know our history so we can move ahead, make better decisions, and move toward justice and equity. Our work was on Zoom because of the pandemic, and we found that with this technology we were able to reach people at the First Parish, in our town, and in surrounding towns and even in other states. We all agreed that we need to keep learning and sharing these histories as well as other groups not covered in traditional history courses. Education is a tool for Social Justice, and white people need to talk with each other and learn as well as meeting people of different races.
Our Issues Module began in January 2022 and continued with a series of talks, films, workshops, and events through May. The purpose of this module was to enable us to examine the ways in which systemic and structural racism affect our lives today and to assess and understand the living consequences of slavery and other forms of racism. We hoped that a better understanding would enable us to consider possibilities for reform, restoration, and restitution.
With an equity/social justice lens, we focused specifically on how government policies, residential patterns, and political will have converged to shape the wealth and resource disparities are currently shaped by racism across most sectors of society. Although there are many categories to investigate, we elected to explore the following always with an eye to how people at FPL in Lincoln might be able to contribute to change that could make a difference.
Racially segregated residential patterns
Health status and disease, along with access to health care
We were often able to combine several different sorts of presentations or activities that provided different perspectives on a single theme. For example, Professor Geismer’s lecture “The Road to Segregation: Lincoln, Route 128, Suburban Liberals and the Long Roots of Inequality” was complemented by Braden Crooks from “Designing the We” on “The Impact of Redlining on the Greater Boston Community”. Other topics were handled similarly with several documentaries, lectures and discussions converging around a given theme. We recognized that this module was offering a beginning to our understanding of these issues, not a conclusion.
We were grateful for support and coordination with First Parish committees including Outreach Committee and FPL Green. We also appreciated interest and collaborative support from The Conservation Law Foundation, The Boston Foundation, and the Lincoln Public Library. In the process of exploring issues and the links to action, we examined and celebrated our longstanding relationship with Bay Cove Human Services, began an investigation of what other churches in the Greater Boston area are doing with regard to racism, and participated in groups such as The UU Mass Action Certified Working Group, Black Lives Matter.
As one of our members stated, “Our goal in this journey is to have honest conversations that free us from the blind spots, silence, and inaction of privilege so that we can work with purpose to dismember, reconcile, and repair the unfair means by which it has been achieved. By working together, we hope to address the racial inequities at large in our culture and to translate our moral intent into moral action.”
Racial Justice Journey Newsletter:
To learn more about our Action Module, please join our email newsletter list by emailing email@example.com.
Below you will see a chronological listing of our activities and actions in the History and Issues Modules, followed by a listing of books and videos that our participants have recommended.
Documentaries and Presentations from the History Module of the FPL Racial Justice Journey.
James Baldwin Summer, 2021
Film: I Am Not Your Negro can be viewed on Kanopy click here. (9-9-2021)
Books: Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time (9-19-2021) Baldwin, James. Go Tell It On the Mountain (9-16-2021)
Field Trip to DeCordova: Sonja Clark, Fabric Artist: Heavenly Ground and Monumental Cloth (8-2-2021)
Baldwin:“History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.”
Baldwin: “Not Everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Native American History
(Thanks to Robin Rapoport at the Lincoln Library for providing the links to Kanopy for an easy way to see the documentaries on Kanopy.)
PBS American Experience: “After the Mayflower, Part 1 of We Still Remain.After the Mayflower can be viewed on Kanopy Click here.
PBS: The Pilgrims. DVD copies of The Pilgrims available in the Minuteman Library Network – if anybody would like to borrow it on DVD they can request that here or by calling the reference desk at 781-259-8465 x204. It looks as though it is also available for viewing on the PBS/WGBH website here. (11-4-2021)
Jill Lepore, King Philip’s War. Talk given to The Gilder Lehrman Institute
Dr. Thea James: “Race and Health Equity in Boston: How can we achieve healthy communities for all.” Sponsored by FPL Racial Justice Advocates and the Outreach Committee) and cosponsored by The Lincoln Public Library, Lincoln WIDE and Lincoln Council on Aging and Human Services. To view, click: https://www.fplincoln.org/posts/watch-now-race-and-health-equity-in-boston/ (3-10-2022)
Glynn Lloyd: Redressing Injustices of the Past: Building Wealth in Communities of Color. Sponsored by FPL (Racial Justice Advocates) and cosponsored by the Lincoln Public Library and Lincoln WIDE.(3-24-2022)
Staci Rubin: Environmental Justice is Racial Justice: Centering Equity in our Region’s Climate Movement. Sponsored by FPL (Racial Justice Advocates, FP Green, FPL Outreach) and CLF, and cosponsored by the Lincoln Public Library, Lincoln Mothers Out Front, 350 MA Metrowest Node, St. Anne’s Climate Ministry, Metrowest Climate Solutions.
First Parish Unitarian Providence RI: As part of the FPL Racial Justice Journey, as we transition from Issues to Action, we will be investigating actions that other churches are taking to resolve inequities of the past as well as to work for racial justice and equity. The Rev. Maclay discusses the highlights of a report of their history that is being conducted by a Brown University researcher. The report addresses dimensions of the business of slavery in RI and in Providence, how that business affected politics and culture here, how it affected the lives of Black people in Providence both before and after the General Assembly’s enactment of a gradual abolition law in 1784. This report serves as a background for action. To view, click: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF141_YIXKTa9v3du87t9Ww (4-21-2022)
FPL Celebrates its Partnership with Bay Cove and Dan Boynton
FPL looks to its past connection to find future actions that lead to racial equity: Celebration of FPL’s partnership with Bay Cove and Dan Boynton. Sponsored by FPL Racial Justice Advocates and FPL Outreach Committee (4-24-2022)
Transition from History and Issues to the Action Module and Beyond: Workshop organized by the Racial Justice Advocates FPL contemplates the Racial Justice Journey as we transition from Issues to Action. Reflections and Small Breakout Groups. (4-28-2022)
Books Recommended by our Readers during the Racial Justice Journey Fall-Spring, 2021-2
Allen, Danielle. Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. Hardcover.
*Baldwin, James. Fire Next Time. Read by FPL.
Bell, Richard. Stolen: Five Boys Kidnapped into Slavery & their astonishing Odyssey Home.
Carretta, Vincent. Biography of Phillis Wheatley.
*Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. Read by FPL.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. The Water Dancer.
DeWolf, Thomas. Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts its Legacy as the Largest Slave Trading Dynasty in US History.
Dunbar, Erica Armstrong. Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of their runaway Slave, Ona Judge.
Geisner, Lily. Don’t Blame Us.
*Glaude, Eddy. Begin Again.
Gordon-Reed, Annette: The Hemmingses of Monticello.
Gorden-Reed, Annette. On Juneteenth.
Hannah-Jones, Nikole. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.
Kendi, Ibram X and Keisha N. Blain. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1629-2019.
*Kendi, Ibram X. How to be an Anti-Racist. Read by FPL.
Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the Beginning.
Larson, Kate Clifford. Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman; Portrait of an American Hero.
Larson, Kate Clifford. Walk With Me: A Biography of Fannie Lou Hamer.