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Michigan Faith Community Urges End to White Silence

The Movement for Black Lives' Week of Action offers ways that Michiganders can show up for racial justice at the local level. (AdobeStock)
The Movement for Black Lives' Week of Action offers ways that Michiganders can show up for racial justice at the local level. (AdobeStock)
June 4, 2020

LANSING, Mich. -- As they join the nationwide protests against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, some faith leaders are calling on the white community to speak out against racial violence.

At an online Vigil to End White Silence, the Rev. Mandy Beal of Birmingham Unitarian Church issued a call to action.

"White silence is violence," she stresses. "May we be confronted by our shortcomings and then mobilized to dismantle white supremacy culture. Let us move together from a place of guilt to grief to action."

Jennifer Teed, special projects coordinator for the Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network, maintains more people want to speak out against racism and police brutality, but are unsure how.

"I think a lot of people are sitting at home, especially with the virus and just feeling stuck and not really feeling connected, especially if they are in primarily white communities or wealthy communities," she states.

The Unitarian Universalist Association is promoting the Movement for Black Lives' Week of Action, and providing examples of how Michiganders can show up for racial justice at the local level. Learn more online at uujustice.org.

The Rev. Julie Brock of Community Unitarian Universalists of Brighton encourages white Michiganders to learn about the history of racial injustice, and look for ways to get involved.

"For some of us it means donating to black-led organizations," she states. "For some of us, it means lending not just our wallets but our time and our energy to local black organizations working on projects to help black residents overcome the structures of injustice."

Teed notes she's proud of how she's seen members of the faith community move to conquer racism.

"There's always moments where people are waking up and wanting to get involved in things," she states. "But one thing that's really true in our congregations in Michigan is that people have been woke for a long time and so there's things that they can just engage deeper in, and connections and relationships that they're building stronger."

Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI