Candid Clergy Conversations on Racial Justice
An effort toward understanding
by Rev. Kan’Dace Brock and Rev. Wyndee Holbrook
San Antonio, TX June 2020
After sharing their respective concerns for the care of Black people in the wake of Mr. George Floyd’s death, Rev. Brock and Rev. Holbrook, who are both Baptist ministers, convened a group of fellow Baptist ministers on Zoom for a candid conversation and shared prayer on June 8, 2020.
Rev. Holbrook convened the group with prayer and Rev. Brock facilitated the conversation and closed with prayer. The conversation lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes and all left with new insights.
The following was sent in advance for preparation and to ease comfort levels among the 7 ministers: 3 black, 4 white; 3 women, 4 men.
What brings you to this conversation?
What does “Black Lives Matter” mean to you?
What is your experience of being stopped by the police?
What does your congregation need related to racial justice?
We are seeking honest and confidential dialogue, and we thank you for engaging. We pray this effort will lead to greater relationships and understanding throughout our community and to help enable you to lead Candid Conversations within your congregation and/or among congregations.
Additional question options for Candid Clergy Conversations:
1) Do you feel comfortable talking about race in and with your congregation? Do you preach messages that include social and racial justice?
2) What is the role of faith communities in racial healing and transformation in our Nation?
3) White Privilege is defined as “inherent advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterized by racial inequality and injustice.” Do you experience “White privilege” as real, or is it a misinterpretation by communities of color? What is the basis for your opinion?
4) Every year, Black and Brown people are killed at alarming rates by the police. What are some ways you can bring attention to this disturbing trend?
5) When you hear the phrase “Defund the Police” What are the first thoughts that come to mind and why?
6) Where do you think the fear of Black and Brown communities continues to come from? (i.e. The woman in New York in the Bird Park calling the police and reporting, “An African American man is trying to hurt me.”)
7) Are you familiar with the hashtags #blackgirlmagic and #blackboyjoy? Do these hashtags imply a superiority over another race, or is it a celebration of the accomplishments of Black women and men.
8) Racism is a social construct. Do you think racism will ever not be a part of the American culture? Why or why not.
9) What is the one thing you’ve always wanted to ask a person of another race, but have been afraid to ask?
10) How is your faith community a part of the solution or the problem as the country seeks racial reconciliation?
11) What are steps you can take as a faith leader to deconstruct entities and systems that have been in place for centuries in order to address the ill intentions and wills of those who are determined to keep the systems in place?