The work of dismantling institutional racism: a newcomer's perspective

March 12, 2015
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Tony Corey was new to the Episcopal Church, new to St. Timothy's Church in Creve Couer, and very new to the work of the diocesan Dismantling Racism Commission. "My intention was to join with passion but remain quiet and listen."

Although he and his wife have been active in city ministry work since their retirement in 2008, they felt that they had something to learn about the subject of racism. "That feeling of needing to learn was confirmed quite quickly," Tony noted. "The monthly meetings are fascinating since the content of each one can change depending on the attendees. If the attendees are less results oriented and more in the sharing mode, then story-telling breaks out. If the 'get-things-done' folks attend, then results are discussed, plans are made, etc. Usually there is a mix but sometimes it swings one way."

"The engineer/marketer in me identifies easily with the latter crowd. Ah... but my education advances most richly from the story telling. It is all good." He's enjoyed getting to know chairperson Chester Hines and everyone on the commission. "They are an amazing group of folks."

Tony dove straight into the monthly commission meetings and work, but had yet to take the 2-day, 14 hour training. He elected to take the training this summer in Columbia, sponsored by the commission, Calvary Episcopal Church, and Russell Chapel CME Church.

As a commission member, he was able to read the training manual ahead of time. "It was interesting but dry and cumbersome. It is a training manual, after all. But when that manual is put in the hands of the DRC instructors, it comes alive with learning."

The structure of the course, the different teaching styles of the several leaders, and the complex and tough content resulted in an intense learning experience. Again, I believe due to the instructors' experience, skills, and preparation. A safe environment for sharing our personal perspectives on tough subjects was established early and effectively."

The next Dismantling Racism training takes place on April 24 & 25, 2015, at St. Timothy's Church in Creve Coeur. The workshop is free, lunch is provided in addition to snacks throughout the day. Childcare is available if requested before registration deadline of April 10. Open to all, you need not be a member of the Episcopal Church. The training needs a minimum of 15 participants (we have 5 currently signed up), with a maximum of 30 registrations accepted.

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