Friday, June 19, 2020

Happy Juneteenth! White Silence is Violence. Silence Broken.

Today is Juneteenth and while the silence that it reminds will be an enduring pain, I am happy to join Americans who also call it Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and/or Cel-Liberation Day, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

I am also happy because it is an appropriate day to share Heather Thum-Gerber’s gift:  White Silence is Violence.  Silence is Broken (link is to the reflection and pictures in the ADL). Heather describes her experience on June 11, 2020, when she joined the protesters gathered with Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice (LSURJ) to end white silence on the topic of racism. "Ironically, we chose to be silent to end the silence," she writes. The protestors all knelt silently on the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time George Floyd’s neck was forced down by an officer’s knee. To understand the meaning of the white silence through the generations after African Americans were emancipated, Heather draws on the story of the silent centurion at the crucifixion of Jesus. She concludes that "white silence is violence," and her own "silence is broken" now. Heather will use her voice loudly in the movement for justice.

I asked Heather how her anti-racist voice and identity will play out, reminding her of the ADL definition: Anti-racism is some form of focused and sustained action, by a mix of people which includes inter-culturalinter-faith, multi-lingual and inter-abled communities with the intent to change a system or an institutional policypractice, or procedure which has racist effects.
Her answer: I am currently geared towards reforming [the system of] policing. Systemic racism is so ingrained in the American criminal justice system that it is far from bringing about justice.
In other news from the library. Thanks to all who attended the Bible software demos of Accordance and Logos. Below is a summary of the numerical portion of the surveys you completed after the demo. If you'd like to see the complete results, please let me know. 
Accordance = 374 points from all respondents (n=12) and 81 points from Bible faculty (n=2). 
Logos = 403 points from all respondents (n=12), and 71 points from Bible faculty (n=2). 

Besides ease of use, and tools, two other factors emerged as critical for our consideration and so the investigation continues: 1) Remote access 2) Vendor Social Justice. 
Accordance and Logos are available for you to try, along with excellent tutorials. Check it out and as always, feedback is welcome. Here are the links: Accordance | Logos

Rejoicing with hope in the One who is always with us,


Monday, June 15, 2020

Recent Anti-racism Resources

Hello beloved community! 

We are now in "Ordinary Time." Yet, we're clearly living in an extraordinary time of global outrage about police brutality and anti-black racism. All in the midst of a global pandemic!  As you may know, ordinary time is the ordered life of the church.  A season in the Christian church calendar it is time that is outside the two great seasons of church celebration. It usually last for about 33 or 34 weeks, beginning with the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, skipping Easter until Pentecost and ending before Advent. So, right now, we're in the second period of ordinary time, during the time of the Pentecost, a time of holy fire and power. *You* are a vital part of the good changes happening in our world.  I thank you for your faithful witness and highlight a few materials from our library.  May they help to fuel our collective imagination and individual actions towards dismantling racism, and ushering in the order and harmony of our Holy God. 

E.M. White Library: We've recently added an open access undergraduate textbook on anti-racist writing to our eBook collections. You can access it through Morgan/Discovery (our library catalog).

Inoue, A. B. (2015). Antiracist writing assessment ecologies : teaching and assessing writing for a socially just future (Ser. Perspectives on writing). WAC Clearinghouse.
Anti-racism Digital Library: The new Louisville, KY collection currently contains four richly detailed educational resources about redlining, racial capitalism, and the history of slavery in Louisville, to help guide our reflections for strategic action. The Louisville Seminary collection has 13 items including recent #BLM writings by the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III, Prof. Debra Mumford, Prof. Shannon Craigo-Snell, Dr. Steve Cook, and me. Other materials include a paper on Race by Prof. Reed and links to related Spring syllabi by Prof. Pauw, Prof. Garrett, etc. For now, I especially want to highlight Dr. Cook's reflection on a passage from Genesis and using "The Creation" art by Aaron Douglas. Here's the closing excerpt and you can find the art and the full reflection here

For our moment, we must recognize how “The Creation” bears witness that Black Lives Matter in the cosmic order of God’s creation. To name Black Lives as integral to the goodness of God’s creation does not deny that all humans are made in the image ofGod. Rather, it recognizes the destruction to God’s good creation done by generations of racist actions, policies, ideologies, and structures. Generations of white silence, ignorance, and apathy, too. To say Black Lives Matter calls us, members of the Episcopal Church, to commit to anti-racist practices and the dismantling of white supremacy to honor all that God has made. May our generation be the one to celebrate finally the full and awesome goodness of God’s creation. Amen. 

May it be so.