Over the past month many of us have gathered on Mondays nights to talk about race, economics, and how we can continue the journey towards racial reconciliation and justice. Here are some random thoughts about continuing that journey from our last meeting.
Here is our reality: By the year 2050 there will be more nonwhite than white Americans and most of the nonwhite population will be Asian and Hispanic, not African American. There are over 2 million mixed-race children in the United States. One in every 20 children born is of mixed-race in the United States.
How do we live into this growing multicultural nation of ours? As cliche as it sounds start with yourself. Examine yourself and understand your context. Become familiar with your own cultural heritage. Become familiar with your own story and the circumstances and people who have influenced who you are. Allow that self reflection to lead you to confess your stereotypes and prejudices. Study your own situation (neighborhood, city, state). What does its story reveal to you about race and ethnicity?
Commit to a lifelong journey and persevere regardless of response and outcomes in all areas of life. Ask yourself, "where do you eat, shop, worship, live, hang out etc." Is that furthering reconciliation and education or separation and ignorance?
Step out of what is familiar to you. How can you place yourself in the context of another group? Seek a situation where you are invited and welcomed. As a majority culture person, be an observant listener and learner as you engage in a place where you are a minority
Build friendships with 1-2 people of another race or ethnicity, who share common interests; where you can practice hospitality; where authentic conversation can happen. Bring others along; share with others what you are learning; speak out when issues come up.
Jointly develop cooperative partnerships and build on a foundation of friendship and trust. Resist the temptation to be sole initiator, wait and choose to plan unilaterally from the ground up. Include styles and forms from each ethnic group represented.
For some interesting thoughts check out pomonegro.