Building a Curriculum of Justice and Peace

The Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG) is underway mapping the groundwork for an anti-racism training course to be launched early in 2023 for leaders within the diocese, both ordained and lay. A parish-led offering of the curriculum will follow soon after.

The working group members have patiently awaited this moment, as integral work needed to be done before we could begin to build an educational resource. Enrolment in trainings, listening to each other’s stories, relationship building, praying, and reading of resources together has enabled the group to move into a collaborative space preparing us for the next steps to be taken.

At our previous meeting, potential educational topics were brainstormed by the group. We were then asked to select a topic or two to research and find a variety of teaching tools to share, such as articles, podcasts, videos, exercises, music clips, mediation, scripture, and art. Some members wanted to do this on their own, while others partnered up. A few of the topics included the history of anti-Black racism in Canada, race, language, and micro-aggressions. Once resources were found our task was to create a five-minute presentation of our findings. We did not expect how motivating these mini presentations would be!

Our meeting on Tuesday, April 26 brought forth new energy and enthusiasm. As each member from the ARWG shared their presentation, new ideas and offerings began to flow freely. We could begin to see the curriculum unfold as topics came to life, providing a fresh glimpse into training areas. The group was encouraged and inspired by all the work that had been done by the members. All the presentations surpassed the five-minute limit as we carefully reviewed, highlighted, and reflected on each person’s research. There was not enough time in our two-hour meeting for everyone to present, so we look forward to hearing and seeing the others present at subsequent meetings.

As we begin this development stage, we remind each other that our focus is to call people in rather than out, and that as Christians we are called to life and compelled to love through our baptismal vows. We ask for your continued prayers as we journey forward building this integral educational training resource for the diocese.

  • Sarah Bird is Program Consultant for Children, Youth, and Family Ministry for the Diocese of Niagara. Sarah’s work upholds loving and inclusive faith communities that welcome diverse families including children of varying abilities, faith experiences, and church affiliation.

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