Anti-Racism Committee – Working to provide educational opportunities that will help Plymouth members understand the historical impact of racial discrimination and how it continues to affect our society today. Subcommittees include Education, Advocacy and Community Relations.
As one of Plymouth’s newest committees, the AntiRacism Committee (ARC) embodies the practice of a Just Peace church through its work. The tenets of seeking a world where we all can live free from fear and with dignity are central to this mission.
The collaborative efforts of ARC have focused on joining with other groups to bring a wide variety of opportunities to Plymouth. These activities have support the anti-racism work in our midst.
ARC partnered with the NAACP in a voter education and voter registration drive in October. Plymouth members knocked on doors in target neighborhoods to get out the vote in the midterm election. ARC sponsored an educational forum with the Polk County Auditor highlighting new voter ID laws and their implications.
A collection of art and readings featuring the Jean Berry Family was presented during Black History Month. This joint effort between the Plymouth Gallery committee and ARC showcased the work of artist Jean Berry and her children, Venise Berry (author) and Steven Berry (film author). Gallery tours, book talks and author interviews were attended by not only Plymouth members, but also many from the community. Selected artwork from the gallery exhibition will now be a permanent addition at Plymouth in an effort to have more representational images in our daily life here.
In the community, relationship-building efforts are ongoing with Creative Visions, Corinthian Baptist Church and other organizations to strengthen ties of neighbor and community.
All of this has been possible through adopting this mission as a spiritual practice – a daily practice which includes preparing ourselves to listen to God in silence, to listen to ourselves in self-reflection and to listen to others through our presence. There is much we can accomplish through the power of listening to each other and practicing the principles of our covenant church.
Anita Fleming-Rife recently wrote the following thank you after attending the Berry artist events: “As a newcomer to Plymouth, I am amazed by the interest in and commitment to anti-racism. For the longest time, my clarion call has been: ‘walk the walk.’ That’s what Plymouth is doing—walking the walk. In the short time that I have been here, the anti-racism work that each of you has been engaged in is palpable and it truly feeds my spirit to know and to be among those who bring the Christian faith to life. As my great-uncle Richard Sullivan used to say to me, ‘Keep on keeping on.’ Thank you for doing all that you do.”