Ministry With Grant Highlight: BIPOC Solidarity Coalition

Owenwood logoMoney will allow Owenwood to create space for BIPOC to address bias within their own communities

This is the first of a series of stories highlighting the 2021 recipients of more than $50,000 in Ministry With Grants.

This month, we focus on an effort entitled “BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) Solidarity Coalition” created by a team from Owenwood Farm & NeighborSpace in East Dallas. The team noticed a gap in the opportunities offered thus far by our anti-racism efforts, like our Conference’s Journey Toward Racial Justice.

To use the team’s language, “Many anti-racist programs are built around the Black/white binary, and often these anti-racism groups produce more learning and growth for white people than for Black people. This ministry would focus on anti-racism within BIPOC communities, creating space for BIPOC to address bias within their own communities and the impact that bias has on other BIPOC groups.”

To address this gap, the team proposed creating a set of cohorts for BIPOC leaders specifically, “blending historical narratives of BIPOC solidarity with modern-day, personal experiences that allow a safe space for BIPOC to address discrimination and racism directly with people they trust.”

On the agenda for this effort, is creating a pilot group that will meet twice monthly for eight weeks, then attend a retreat together. This initial group will test the content and flow of the experiences, to then offer at least one additional cohort to newcomers from around the North Texas Conference.

It is hoped that this effort will “create a mutual learning space where non-white people can learn how to support each other better and address ways that white supremacy has embedded itself into non-white communities.” Said convener Katie Pryor: “White supremacy’s greatest tool is creating division among BIPOC, and this ministry’s goal is to fight white supremacy by creating true solidarity among BIPOC.” 

The Center for Missional Outreach is excited to contribute $5,000 toward start-up costs for the cohorts as well as coalition building. As the first cohort takes shape this fall, the CMO will work to learn all it can from its experiences and share those with readers and the Journey Toward Racial Justice Team.

If you’d like to know more about this effort, or if you have your own Ministry With ideas, email Rev. Andrew Fiser.

Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2021