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Despite COVID-19, Anti-Racism Workshops Thrive Online

Published in the issue.

Sixteen parishioners within our diocese participated in a pilot Online Anti-Racism Workshop via four Zoom sessions from August 17 to August 24.  The committee generally has three workshops a year in the winter, spring and fall.   Covid-19 cancelled the spring and fall two-day in-person workshops which would have been available to those who needed this certificate to fulfill the 2019 resolution requiring Anti-Racism training for anyone running for diocesan office.    The committee created a workshop that required independent self-study that was discussed during the session.  It was a relief when 15 out of the 16 participants reported that they found the workshop to be “very useful” or “extremely useful” in their work and daily lives.   This exceeds the average of 85% in the past and there was only one person who thought it was moderately useful.

Below are a few comments as to what was most useful:

“The various videos – some of the content was a refresher, but much of it was new to me. Very enlightening. Some of it I want to watch a second time to absorb more, as it was a lot of information.”

“Biological/sociological information. Ways to be intentionally anti-racist.  I will incorporate these learnings into my ministry and preaching.”

“The idea of systemic racism, how I benefit from it and how insidious it is.”

The facilitators acknowledge Zoom sessions cannot replace the informal conversations and the breaking of bread that occurs during the workshop with everyone being under one roof with the Holy Spirit.   A second online workshop recently took place across four Zoom sessions.   Please refer the Anti-Racism page on the diocesan website for information on upcoming workshops.