Become a proactive initiator of racial justice. Jemar Tisby presents a simple framework for confronting racism--the A.R.C. Of Racial Justice--increase your awareness, develop authentic relationships, and make a commitment. Full of practical tools and suggestions, actionable items, and real-world examples of change, this study is for anyone who believes it is time to stop compromising with racism and courageously confront it.
The ARC of Racial Justice includes increasing your awareness by studying history and grasping what God says about the dignity of the human person; developing authentic relationships with people who are different from you; and making a commitment to dismantle racist attitudes, starting with your heart and moving to the structures of our nation and our world.
Scripture tells us that we do not simply have the image of God; we are the image of God, thoroughly and holistically, as human beings. This means all people equally bear the likeness of God, which makes racism a problematic issue that must be treated as the evil offense against God and human beings that it is.
Racial identity development refers to the process of defining for oneself the personal significance and social meaning of belonging to a particular racial group. Racially mature people will assert not only that their race is a factor in how they experience the world but also that identity is more than skin deep.
A historical context is necessary for identifying and fighting racism in the present day. As we explore the causes and consequences of racism, history provides the vital context of the past to pursue solutions in the present that are rooted in a firm understanding of racial justice.
Understanding the problems of racial ruptures at a spiritual level can aid attempts to bring healing through reconciliation. And this understanding comes from the demonstrated truth that all reconciliation is relational: the Son of God becoming human in Jesus Christ.
We build better relationships when we offer friendship to people who are different from us, and when we do so in a way that honors their story and identity as well as engages us in the potentially uncomfortable work of listening to and learning from one another.
The journey of racial justice takes hard work. And it takes a collaboration of diversity, equity, and inclusion. On the other side of these efforts is an organization that truly welcomes people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, makes everyone feel like they have a voice in how business is conducted, and has an opportunity for success.
Without love there can be no justice. Jesus encapsulated the core of Christianity as love for God and love for neighbor. This love animates the call for racial justice. Love is the energizing force of justice that insists on fairness and equity for all. Love is the motivating factor that demolishes any paternalistic attitudes and builds a posture of humble service.
For far too long, the discussion about race has focused on the intentions and feelings of individuals, and this has allowed people to sidestep the necessity of addressing systemic racism. Confronting the interlocking patterning of practices and policies that create and maintain racial inequalities is what love looks like in public.
We have to reposition ourselves spiritually, emotionally, culturally, intellectually, and politically to address the myriad ways that racism manifests in the present day. Orienting your life in this way is about helping to make society more equitable and just for the generations that follow.
Fighting racism is not just about how it changes the world; it’s also about how it changes you. May this journey of courageous Christianity and this journey toward the full ARC of Racial Justice bring you to a deeper sense of three important realities: God’s presence, the community of co-laborers, and your own identity.