Racism and White Privilege
The Social Action Committee has been working in the area of Racism and White Supremacy for many years.
Most recently: On February Sundays 2021, as part of our Meetinghouse Series, we showed the PBS 4 part film Series by Henry Louis Gates Jr. called Reconstruction: America After the After the Civil War. All sessions were broadcast via Zoom to the town and were followed by discussion. Ninety people registered for the series.
The Meetinghouse Series Event ”Between the Bars” in the Fall of 2016 focused on the over-incarceration of black and brown people. We have since joined forces with ECCO to make our voices heard at the State House on issues of prison reform, policing and prosecutorial conduct.
Several members of our church community are involved in the Marblehead Racial Justice Team and were responsible for several events including a town wide showing of the documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North wherein filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide. The Team also showed Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible with conversation facilitated by Rev. Wendy and Nikki Moore. The Team also coordinated an event where Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race made a presentation at Marblehead High School.
On the weekend of May 4-6 2018 the Committee invited Christopher D. Sims, poet, activist, and lay minister to speak to the community about the importance of supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. It had been decided by the Social Action Committee that we should display a Black Lives Matter banner on our church. The church's Board of Trustees invited feedback and discussion within the church community and ultimately a congregational meeting voted to display the banner. On the 6th, the banner was dedicated with participation from Rev. Andre Bennett from Zion Baptist Church in Lynn, Rev. Ross Johnson of the Marblehead Methodist Church, Fuwaz Abusharckh of the Islamic Society of Salem, in addition to Rev. Wendy and Nikki Moore. Many members of the Essex County Community Organization attended. Afterwards Christopher D. Sims led us in a conversation about the meanings, public and private, of displaying the banner on our church.This event was the culmination of a great many efforts on the part of Committee and the Marblehead Racial Justice Team members to address the issue of racism, here in town, at the high school and in the state.
Three members of the Committee lead monthly discussions about race at the library which continue to be well attended.