Resources June 2020

Online Devotions: Saturday, June 6, 7:30 – 8:00am. Early morning prayers to start the weekend on a spiritual note. Everyone is welcome. For more information, please call Jan at 503-639-8919.

Online Devotions: Sunday, June 7, 10:00 – 10:30am. For more information, please call our Vancouver Bahá’í information line at 971-248-5219.  Sponsored by the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Vancouver.

Online Devotions: Sunday, June 7, 10:30 – 11:30am. Hello friends!  We are having Portland Sunday Interfaith Devotions on Zoom.  For the current meeting log-in information or more information, please call 503 289-6331.  Sponsored by the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Portland.

Online Interfaith Devotions: Sunday, June 7, 6:30pm. Spiritual sustenance – all are welcome!  For more information please call Ms. Luckett at 971 202-9091.

Online Dialog: “Building Equity in Communities of Color During Covid-19” Thursday June 11, 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to join the meeting at 6:45 pm. For more information, please call 503 289-6331.

Bahia Overton, Executive Director of Portland’s Black Parent Initiative, will present a talk on the impact of Covid-19 on communities of color in the Portland Metro Area. 

“In our work with Black families in Portland, we see that the stresses caused by the corona virus exacerbate other existing issues, such as health and financial situations,” notes Ms. Overton.  “We’re working around the clock to find funding to help provide emergency relief for these already stressed families.” Practical steps that local nonprofits are taking to address the crisis will also be discussed.

Ms. Overton holds an MS in Social Work. She is completing her Ph.D. in Social Work Research, focusing on the experiences of African American female adolescents in foster care. 

This talk is hosted by Take PART (Portland Anti-Racism Team). The mission of Take PART is to confront racism and to engage in dismantling the systems that perpetuate ingrained racial inequality.  We do this through events, education and outreach that foster engagement in building community where all people are treated with equality and respect.  For more information on Take PART, go to:

Register for these talks, coming up starting June 2:

Racism, Trauma and Justice:
“Be, Anxiously Concerned” by Dr. Joy DeGruy

Tuesday June 2, 8:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

“The belief that workplace diversity can bring increased productivity, new ideas, and therefore higher profits, appeals particularly to corporations. Although diversity training may make good business sense, the model falls terribly short of the comprehensive racial justice approach required for progressive social change. What too often gets lost in the muddy waters of multi-cultural awareness is any analysis of power and the ways racist attitudes and organizational culture operate. A racial justice approach requires an organizational transformation of power relations.”
(David Rogers, Western States Center)

The global challenges facing humanity are many, the complexity and enormity of the challenges are staggering. Still it is clear that among the most challenging problems facing humanity is racism. When we consider the issues associated with Covid–19 we find ourselves inextricably entangled within the thick web of structural racism, classism and the social determinants of health.

For far too many of us shrink away from the responsibility to take the ‘deep dive’ into the issue of racism and oppression and create real and lasting change. This is the opportunity for the creation of laws that will guide systemic change; and to protect the most vulnerable that are most often found to be living at the intersection of classism and racism. To that end, my contribution to human affairs is to educate, inform, and motivate others to embrace the cause of “Oneness” by better understanding what is keeping us from it!

Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing

Sat 6/6 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Conversations of the Heart – Exploring Race Unity and Oneness with Dr. Joy Angela DeGruy
Dr. DeGruy’s seminal book, Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing, addresses the residual impacts of trauma on African Descendants in the Americas. The book lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can eliminate non-productive attitudes, beliefs and adaptive behaviors, and build upon the strengths we have gained from the past to heal. She has also developed an assessment scale for measuring respect with regard to African American male youth.

Conversations of the Heart is an online weekend workshop series in collaboration between the Bahá’í Publishing Trust and Green Acre.

Longing: Stories of Racial Healing | Phyllis & Gene Unterschuetz

Sat 6/6 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Conversations of the Heart – Exploring Race Unity and Oneness
In this interactive presentation, Phyllis and Gene will share anecdotes from their book Longing: Stories of Racial Healing, which describes their experiences living in an RV for 15 years and traveling around the country giving talks about the elimination of racial prejudice. These true stories illustrate their personal journey of discovering how they have been conditioned as white Americans and their struggle to free their minds and hearts from that conditioning.

Learning about Whiteness through a Black Man’s Story | JoAnn Borovicka

Sun 6/7 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Conversations of the Heart – Exploring Race Unity and Oneness
Author JoAnn Borovicka (a white woman) spent three years interviewing Richard Abercrombie (an African American man) as well as his family and friends in her collaboration with Richard on the writing of his recently published memoirs, Crossing the Line: A Memoir of Race, Religion and Change. In this interactive presentation, JoAnn will share what immersion in Richard’s story taught her about the culture of whiteness and the often surprising practical steps that white people can take to contribute to the solution of racial prejudice.

Association for Baha’i StudiesPRO910

In this talk, Professor Benjamin pairs social scientific insights on racism and inequality with spiritual insights on human oneness and justice which, taken together, offer tools that we urgently need to bring a better world into existence. Ruha Benjamin is a professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. She writes, teaches, and speaks about the relationship between innovation and equity, health and justice, science, and citizenship. She is the author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier, and Race After Technology.

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