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Kaufman's Weekly Interfaith Insight
"Struggling With Racism on the Fourth of July" by Director Doug Kindschi
I am writing this week’s column on the Fourth of July, not in a big crowd watching fireworks, but quietly reflecting on our country, its history – both the good and the bad.
Recent months have led many of us not to celebration, but to challenge. We are challenged by a pandemic keeping us isolated and apart. We have been opened to a new understanding of racism and systemic problems in the police culture. We have had to face our own complicity in allowing and even supporting systems of discrimination. For me it has led to a time of confession and resolve to better understand my own unconscious racism embedded in a “white privilege” which had also been invisible to me.
During these days of celebrating our country’s founding, I appreciate the privilege of living in a free country, realizing that my freedom is not experienced in every nation. And not experienced by everyone in our country – not at our founding and not even today. It is a kind of “freedom privilege” that we take for granted. We are rarely conscious of that privilege. In a similar way many of us have benefited from white privilege of which we have not even been conscious. It was just the way the world was. I went to excellent schools, enjoyed meaningful jobs, didn’t worry about getting into college. I was never threatened by a policeman. Growing up I just assumed that was the case for anyone living in America and generally law abiding.
Kaufman's Weekly Watch
White Fragility - What is It?
The book by Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism has been on the NY Times Best Seller list since it was published in 2018. The video is a clip from a presentation the author gave at an event for the United Methodist Church. Full Event.
We start on online book discussion of this book beginning Tuesday, July 21. We will meet on Zoom each week at 3 p.m., taking one chapter each week. More info
2020-2021 Scholars Registration is now open!
Kaufman Interfaith Institute is excited to launch our second year of the Youth Interfaith Leadership Scholars Program. This year our focus will be on Leadership Development, Deepening our Learning of Pluralism*, and Taking Action in our communities. In addition to personal growth the Leadership Scholars will serve as an advisory council to Kaufman Interfaith Institute and help to guide the Institute forward into the future. All students 8th-12th grade are welcome to participate in this free program.**
Here's what Scholars from the 2019/2020 cohort said about the program:
- Most students felt that the interactive trainings and getting to know their peers were the best part of the program.
- Learning from University Professors who were experts in their fields was really cool
- The group really got to know each other and learn what made kids from all over west Michigan who they are
*Pluralism is not diversity alone, but the energetic engagement with diversity. Pluralism is not just tolerance, but the active seeking of understanding across lines of difference.---Diana Eck
** Inclusion is of critical importance to Kaufman. Please email Zahabia Ahmed-Usmani at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.