Racial Justice Advisory Committee: Black History Month 2021 Challenge
Let us become agents of change.
February is a busy month in 2021: Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and we are right into the Season of Lent. In the midst of all those meaningfully designated moments and celebrations of relationships, community, and our mutual humanity and vulnerability, the Racial Justice Advisory Committee urges you to observe February also as a commemoration of Black History Month.
For the month of February, the members of the Racial Justice Advisory Committee are inviting you to a Synod-wide challenge. (Watch the video introduction to the right, and watch video responses below!)
1. Visit our resources list at https://rjaceastern.wixsite.com/home/copy-of-workshops-resources.
2. Pick something from the list. Invite a friend to do this together.
3. Engage, make comments, ask questions, dialogue.
4. Tell us how you did! Use our Contact Us page to email us, or tag us on social media and let us know how it went.
Each member of RJAC will check back through February with a “moment of revelation” as they engage their choice of book, article, podcast, or video. Check back on the RJAC website and social media channels to see what we’re reading, listening to, watching, and discussing. In holding up our narratives, painful, celebratory, and everything in-between, we embrace our common humanity.
Our features, this month, include an update on the most recent achievement of Willie Eldon O’Ree, a former professional ice hockey player, best known for being the first Black player in the National Hockey League (NHL) and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, 2018. He was featured in the “Black History Month” section of the Eastern Synod 2020 Newsletter. Most recently, Mr. O’Ree was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (2020/2021). Read more about Mr. O’Ree and his achievements on our website.
We are very pleased to include a chapter from the “Earth Charter, Education and the Sustainable Development” book written by one of our own RJAC members, Dr. Mary Philip who we know as Joy! Dr. (Joy) Philip is Associate Professor, Lutheran Global Theology and Mission, Director, MDiv Program, Editor, “Consensus: a Canadian Journal of Public Theology” at Martin Luther University College in Waterloo, Ontario. Dr. (Joy) Philip was invited to present her work at a conference in Costa Rica in January of 2019. 2020 was the 20th anniversary of the Earth Charter and the book was launched in December, 2020. Dr. (Joy) Philip was awarded a certificate of recognition for her work with the Earth Charter. You can read this renowned chapter on our website under “Resources” (Books and Articles).
COMING SOON in FEBRUARY!….Andrew Craig, a musicianwho has performed for Nelson Mandela and so many others and has received national media coverage, will provide an online musical history of Black history/African heritage in Canada on behalf of Martin Luther University College. Read more of his illustrious Bio and be sure to listen to his video included in the links below. Stay tuned for more information from Martin Luther University College about this highly accredited musician!
Also listen to his recording,https://i21638.wixsite.com/andrewcraig
Finally, we have included, in our “Resources” section, the letter written from a Birmingham, Alabama jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. His letter to the White Clergy of Birmingham still resonates today as the struggle for full and just equal rights continues in the U.S. and around the world.
Submitted by the Eastern Synod Racial Justice Advisory Committee (RJAC)
Chair- Rev. Joanna Miller
Selina Jackie Broadshaw
Deacon Scott Knarr
Rev. Chung Yan (JoAnn) Lam
Rev. Philip Mathai
Dr. Mary (Joy) Philip
Rev. Rick Pryce
Rev. Christie Morrow-Wolfe (Assistant to the Bishop)
Rev. Chun Zhang