The Race & Christian Community Initiative
We equip Christians in Greater Boston to engage issues of race in ways that honors the image of God in all people.
We help the Emmanuel Gospel Center better serve diverse communities and model loving and equitable relationships in the body of Christ.
- We help the Church engage in issues of race more respectfully and responsibly to facilitate biblical reconciliation.
Racial Education for White Evangelicals: Our Current Focus
Equip White evangelicals to respectfully and responsibly engage in issues related to race so they can be more effective agents of biblical reconciliation.
Create a missional community who engages in racial reconciliation and coaches White evangelicals to do the same. This community will create strategic relationships for growth and aims to alleviate the burden on people of color in educating White people about race.
Increase effective cross-racial dialogue and collaboration that contributes to God’s restorative works in the Greater Boston area and beyond.
Structural: 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 they 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 group conversations 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
Church & Ministry Partnerships: As a group, receive services that focus on your unique ministry context and how your ministry can move forward in community.
Inter-Ministry Cohort: As an individual, join an EGC-hosted inter-ministry cohort where you can grow with other White evangelicals and receive support to apply what you are learning in your spheres of influence.
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 they choose to do so, they 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.
The experiences, capacity, and call of Megan Lietz, founder and director of the RCCI, make her best suited to focus on White evangelicals. We hope 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 people of color who can best determine if genuine progress is being made.
Advisers: A group of ad hoc advisers meet to speak into the happenings and development of the RCCI.
We prioritize the voices of Black and brown people in our learning experiences through the media, guest engagements, 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.