Our Initial Focus: Racial Education for White Evangelicals
Equip White evangelicals to respectfully and responsibly engage in issues related to race so we can be more effective agents of biblical reconciliation.
Help White evangelicals support and be supported by a missional community committed to racial reconciliation.
Increase effective cross-racial dialogue and collaboration that contributes to God’s restorative works in the Greater Boston area and beyond.
Systemic: Ongoing racial inequalities maintained by society.
E.g. In 2015, the median net worth for White families in the Boston area ($247,500) towered over that of Hispanic ($3,020 for Puerto Ricans, $2,700 for other Hispanics) and Black families ($12,000 for “Caribbean Blacks” and $8 for “U.S. Blacks”).
Institutional: Discriminatory policies and practices within organizations and institutions.
E.g. Resumes that have Black-sounding names are 50% less likely to get called for an interview compared to people with White-sounding names.
Interpersonal: Bigotry and biases shown between individuals through word and action.
E.g. Leaders exclude people of color from a team because they just “aren’t a good fit with the team dynamic.”
Internalized: Race-based beliefs and feelings within individuals.
E.g. Consistently believing that your way of doing things is better than that of your colleagues of color.
Racial Education for White Evangelicals (ReWe) equips White evangelicals to reflect and learn within their own community so we can more effectively participate in Christ’s reconciling work (Eph. 2:11-21) across racial lines. Because each ministry is on a different journey toward biblical reconciliation based on their context and goals, we work with them to create a customized road map for learning and action. With the guidance and accountability of people of color, we provide tools, resources, and ongoing support for genuine growth:
Educate: ReWe helps ministries develop their biblical understanding and practice of racial reconciliation as part of God's work to transform individuals, communities, and social systems.
Coach: ReWe provides support, resources, and accountability to help churches meet their race-related goals. Groups examine who they are, the community in which they serve, their understanding of racism, their capacity for engagement, and their desired outcomes.
Convene: ReWe facilitates gatherings within and between communities that model authentic listening and dialogue for changes in heart, perspective, and action.
Connect: ReWe nurtures relationships between leaders and ministries to create spaces for learning and collaboration.
Options for Learning with Us
Workshops: RCCI offers an introductory workshop series designed to help people better understand racism and how to respond to it as followers of Jesus. Click here for more information.
Church & Ministry Partnerships: As a group, receive services that focus on your unique ministry context and how you can address issues related to race in your community.
House Party Lectures: Join us as we build a multiracial Christian community talking about issues related to race that you often won't hear about from the pulpit. Food, fellowship, and discussion. Coming fall 2019!
Inter-Ministry Cohort: RCCI hosts inter-ministry cohorts for White people shaped by the evangelical tradition to helps them learn about and do self-work related to race. Click here for more information.
Support & Accountability Group: RCCI offers a group for White people who have been shaped by the evangelical tradition and desire to receive support and accountability to take action to contribute to the dismantling of racism. Click here for more information.
Why are we Focusing on White People?
We recognize that:
Both White people and people of color need to be working toward biblical reconciliation in order for justice and healing to take place.
Because White people have the option to not think about or engage in issues of race, if and when we choose to do so, we often encounter a steep learning curve. People of all races benefit if White people take time to learn and grow before interacting across racial lines.
It is not the responsibility of people of color to teach White people about race. White people should bear this responsibility.
Furthermore the experiences, capacity, and call of Megan Lietz, founder and director of the RCCI, make her best suited to focus on White evangelicals.
We plan to address issues of race in the context of Christian community more broadly as we develop a multiracial team over time.
Our Accountability to People of Color
The Race & Christian Community Initiative intentionally places itself under the leadership, guidance, and accountability of people of color. We recognize that our work needs to be evaluated by people of color, as it is they who can best determine if genuine progress is being made.
Direct Supervision: The Race & Christian Community Initiative is supervised by Liza Cagua-Koo
Advisers: A multiracial board of advisors meet 6 times a year to speak into the happenings and development of RCCI. Board members include:
Ellen Bass, Director of the Capacity Institute at the Black Ministerial Alliance
Barry Kang, Lead Pastor of Symphony Church
Paulea Mooney-McCoy, Director of Programs and Leadership Development at the Boston Project Ministries
Emmett Price, Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience (ISBCE) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Josh Wilson, Church Planter of The Table
David Wright, Executive Director of the Black Ministerial Alliance
We intentionally incorporate and prioritize the voices of Black and brown people in our learning experiences. This includes engaging them through the media, hosting guest speakers, attending gatherings led by people of color, and participating in cross-racial collaboration.
We intentionally ask people of color we are working with how their experience with us was for them, where we are doing well, and how they think we could grow.
We listen to the perspectives of people of color as they speak into the development of our ministry.
We share with ministry participants how people of color are overseeing and shaping this ministry.
Do you have any other suggestions for how we can stay accountable to our brothers and sisters of color? If so, please let us know.
Megan Lietz, Director of RCCI
Raised in a rural, White community, Megan never imagined living in the city or working toward racial reconciliation. But God has led her to immerse herself in diverse, urban contexts and she has come to call these communities her own. Megan's studies and experiences have helped her develop a rich theology of race relations, with a desire to live it out.
She holds a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell's Center for Urban Ministerial Education, and a Masters in Sacred Theology from Boston University, where she studied power dynamics in multiracial congregations. Megan served on staff at a Black church for five years and has spent most of her time in the city living in the Codman Square neighborhood of Dorchester. As a White evangelical, her love for both this community and people of color compels her to lead White evangelicals in the ongoing self-work critical to biblical reconciliation.
When not at work, Megan serves at Abundant Life Church in Cambridge and enjoys cooking, reading, outdoor exercise, and spending time with her husband, Derek, and daughter, Grace.
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