Coronavirus Information and Resources
March 9, 2020
Phase 2 Renovations Information
September 1, 2020

Anti-Racism Resources


Solidarity Statement on Race Relations


As members of the body of Christ, St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church commits itself to justice, equity and inclusion for all people. We acknowledge that throughout its history and across its denominational branches, the churches that name Christ as savior have tolerated, shared in, and fostered the sins of racism, bigotry, sexism, homophobia, and other expressions of exclusion and intolerance toward our fellow human beings. These attitudes, conscious and unconscious, have resulted in prejudice, disenfranchisement, oppression, and violence toward our sisters and brothers whom we are called by Christ to love.

As the people of St. Francis, and as Christian believers in our time and place, we confess that we are part of this systemic and societal immorality that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ and we acknowledge the need for repentance, both for ourselves and the entire Christian Church. We acknowledge the system of racism inherent in the continuing history of our country and we commit to educate ourselves to recognize it and to speak and act to dismantle it.

We stand in full solidarity with all members of our community, inside or outside of the Church, who have been marginalized. We seek to hear, understand, and learn from the stories of those who have been demeaned, repressed, and exploited. We commit to exposing the unfaithfulness and passiveness in ourselves that propagates exclusion and provides solace to unjust society. We resolve to live more fully into the vows of our Baptismal Covenant to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.

- Approved by the Vestry of St. Francis-in-the-Fields, July 8, 2020




Upcoming Anti-Racism Programs at St. Francis


JESUS AND THE DISINHERITED
Virtual discussion via Zoom, led by Fr. Kevin
Weekly on Sundays from November 29 to December 20, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

A source of profound wisdom and challenging theological insight, Howard Thurman stands as one of the great philosophical mentors of the Civil Rights Movement. Disinherited, written in the late 1940's, is one of Thurman's most influential works, especially relevant in our contemporary context. Thurman's reading of the Gospels helps us begin to hear the message of those Gospels in a very different way by setting the words and teachings of Jesus in its original context of human suffering and liberation.

Jesus and the Disinherited is intelligent and penetrating, but also relatively short (132 pages) and accessible. It's one of the primary texts in the "Sacred Ground" anti-racism program of The Episcopal Church, and a foundation theological work on interpreting and responding to racism in a contemporary context.

The initial discussion will cover the Foreward, Preface, and Chapter 1. Copies of Jesus and the Disinherited may be purchased through most book dealers.

Details on joining the Zoom meeting can be found in the weekly church emails.

A CONVERSATION WITH IBRAM X. KENDI

Join us to view a recorded Webinar with Ibram X. Kendi and Gesu School in North Philadelphia on Sunday, November 29 at 7 pm.

Kendi shares his thoughts and answers questions about anti-racism work and racism origins. We will debrief to close. Led by Grace Wingfield.

Join Meeting Link
Meeting ID: 837 112 1983 Passcode: 323860



Anti-Racism Resources


From the National Association of Independent Schools: Take A Selfie for Racial Justice: Thoughts to Spur Reflection and Action

What Awaits Black Children When They Return to School
by Sarah Begley

From NPR: This List Of Books, Films And Podcasts About Racism Is A Start, Not A Panacea

Teaching Tolerance - Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants.

The Multicultural Resource Center (MCRC) has been devoted to delivering powerful programs to increase knowledge and understanding around equity and social justice.

Recommendations from Grace Wingfield:

For children and adults:
Inform and educate on the source of what we see our country, finally acknowledging more comprehensively, systemic racism. First, it is imortant to understand the history and origins of racism and racial injustice in the U.S. Most importantly is understanding that racism was created to justify slavery for economic purposes and is not scientific. Race did not exist scientifically and then was utilized in horrific ways. Often this is the story told. These are a few good resources:

* The documentary 13th. It is free on YouTube and on Netflix. There is some cursing and graphic pictures. If you have not seen this, I would watch it yourself first. Be sure to watch it with your grandchildren. It is too important to not watch. Our Middle School students have viewed this, and I emailed a Lower School instructor to ask if 9 years old is an appropriate age (not my area of expertise). He said definitely if watched with adults. This is a cliffnotes version of 13th.

* A TED talk by Megan Ming Frances, "Let's get to the Root of Racial Injustice." This is a good video about getting to the source and acknowledging systemic racism. Remember that in history class, the story of slavery and racism is often covered in a neat tidy three-day package which ends with Martin Luther King's march, and then the false conclusion that everything is fine now.

* RACE - the Power of an Illusion. This is a four part PBS series. If there is interest in learning more, this is a scientific and sociologic set of videos that can be purchased for $5.

* Here is a recent talk about talking to kids about race. I have followed and admired Rosetta Lee for awhile. She is great and is part of this talk.

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I think it is important to name and learn more about microaggressions.

Here is the definition by Derald Wing-Sue:
Microaggressions: everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

I am certain they have already heard microaggressions directed to them or at least in media. It is important to understand and learn more about microaggressions in order to recognize and dismantle, to maintain strong self-confidence and self-love for who we are. Even for adults, it is difficult to process microaggressions because they are not overt, so a lot of questioning of oneself occurs. There is a feeling of discomfort or upset, but it is often hard to articulate and point to because of the fact that they are often veiled as a positive comment, or even thought of that way by the person saying it. Even a comment like, "Your hair looks really pretty" stated to a black girl on a day when it is styled differently is difficult to process. Some thoughts that come up for the listener:

"They notice my hair as different than theirs. I knew it."
"I am glad I did this to conform."
"I wish I did not do this to conform."
"Others have different styles too, why are they commenting to me?"
"Wait, they are saying something nice."

Wrestling with all of this or having it all bottled up inside can really eat away at our self-confidence and self-assurance. These are two quick videos about microaggressions.

Dr. Derald Wing Sue - Microaggressions in his own words

Look Different | "Your English is so good." | MTV

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This is a microaggresion activity I used in class from breakingprejudice.org.

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Other thing I would encourage is pointing out black inventors and history:

Lewis Howard Latimer biography. Lewis Howard Latimer was an inventor and draftsman best known for his contributions to the patenting of the light bulb and the telephone.

Carbon Light Bulb Filament, Invented by Lewis Latimer in 1881

The Accidental Invention of the Super Soaker

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Anti-Racism Resources - Events


Rendering Justice Virtual Exhibition

Curated by artist Jesse Krimes, the Rendering Justice exhibition coming to the African American Museum in Philadelphia is the work of Mural Arts Philadelphia's 2019 Reimagining Reentry Fellows, and features an expansive examination of mass incarceration and an unflinching depiction of contemporary America. The works feature varied responses to the displacement of bodies and revocation of autonomy entailed in incarceration and affirm how artists maintain a sense of identity, regain their agency, and grapple with coercive forces until—and after—they reenter society.

The artworks, made possible by generous funding from the Art for Justice Fund, an initiative founded by Agnes Gund in collaboration with the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, will be on virtual display beginning Wednesday, October 28, and will be celebrated with a series of virtual programming featuring the artists throughout the coming months. .