Louisville Seminary Develops Resources to Promote Anti-Racism
Photo by Vince Fleming courtesy of Unsplash.
On July 23, 2020, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary released two online resources for public use which raise awareness about the importance of anti-racism and help develop individual anti-racist identities.
Growing a Personal Anti-racist Voice and Identity is a self-guided study, which takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and can be done individually or in small groups. With faith as its foundation, the study helps participants find ways to restore oppressed people and bring racial healing, equity, and justice to the community. It includes discussion questions, definitions about racialization, ways to become involved in anti-racist movements, poetry, prayers, and other resources. The study is available on Louisville Seminary’s website at lpts.edu/antiracistidentity.
The Anti-racism Digital Library, which is curated by Louisville Seminary’s Ernest Miller White Library, serves as a clearinghouse for information about people, groups, and projects who are building inclusive and caring communities. The library includes more than 325 books, essays, videos, art and other materials in 23 different collections and allows for individuals, groups, and organizations to submit additional materials. The library is found at endracism.info.
Both the Growing a Personal Anti-racist Voice and Identity study and the Anti-racism Digital Library were developed by Dr. Anita Coleman, who is the Director of Louisville Seminary’s Ernest Miller White Library and Associate Professor of Bibliography and Research. According to Coleman, these resources reflect on and respond to the current and historic realities of racial injustice.
“Anti-racism is a part of Christian discipleship, a harmonious outpouring of the inner life,” said Coleman, who also serves on the editorial board of Horizons Magazine and is Vice President of the Presbyterians Writers Guild. “These tools are not to make one feel guilt, shame, or pressure to add anti-racism as another commitment. Rather, they illuminate our journey and discern our next steps as disciples of Jesus Christ in today’s global and multi-cultural society.”
Coleman began work on the Anti-racism Digital Library in 2015 (prior to her arrival at Louisville Seminary and shortly following the Emmanuel AME church shooting in Charleston, SC) with seed funding from the Presbyterian Women of the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii and the Center for Applied Research on Human Services at San Jose State University. Development of the Growing a Personal Anti-racist Voice and Identity study came at the behest of Louisville Seminary President Alton B. Pollard, III, and several others from the seminary’s faculty and students.
“In the same breath we express our love for God, so we must also bring meaning, action, and life to the truth of that love,” said Pollard. “It is our hope that those near and far beyond the walls of our seminary find personal, spiritual, and communal wisdom through these resources. My thanks to Dr. Coleman and those who assisted her on these projects for helping Louisville Seminary lend its voice to the very important work of racial justice.”