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Duluth churches to host workshop on race

A workshop planned for this weekend will focus on racial justice and dismantling oppressive social structures in Duluth, and will be followed by a morning of worship services. "We've heard a lot of nice chat, and that's one of the hallmarks of ra...

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A workshop planned for this weekend will focus on racial justice and dismantling oppressive social structures in Duluth, and will be followed by a morning of worship services.
“We’ve heard a lot of nice chat, and that’s one of the hallmarks of racism, is to say nice things and then do nothing,” said Jackie Falk, faith formation minister at Peace United Church of Christ. “The challenge to us, as white Christians, is what will be different in Duluth and will we have the courage to know that some of our colleagues and friends won’t agree with the choices that we’re advocating for, but it’s about being allies.”
Two religion professors will discuss healing from structural violence and racism as people of faith during “Living Into the Difficult: Race, Diversity and Duluth for All,” scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Peace Church, 1111 N. 11th Ave. E.
Peace Church and St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal are hosting the workshop.
Melanie L. Harris is an AME pastor and professor of religion and ethics at Texas Christian University. Jennifer Harvey is an American Baptist minister and professor of religion and ethics at Drake University.
On Saturday, Harris and Harvey will give an opening summary about repairing racial relationships in Duluth, reparations and “whites understanding what social cost of people of color have paid for our privilege and many times we don’t even know that,” Falk said.
The workshop attendees will break into smaller groups and then come together to discuss what can be done differently in Duluth.
“We’re going to listen about what is the one thing that would be the most important thing we could do differently,” Falk said.
Several community worship services on Sunday are expected to focus on race and diversity. Harvey is scheduled to speak during 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship services at Peace Church as well as at an adult forum at 9:30 a.m. at the church. Harris and Pastor Richard Coleman are expected to speak on the topic during an 11 a.m. Sunday worship service at St. Mark AME, 530 N. Fifth Ave. E.
The workshop and worship services are open to the public. Registration is preferred for the workshop at peaceucc.org. A freewill donation of $10 is suggested.

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