Kenosha coalition to host discussion on racism in faith communities March 25

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KENOSHA ⏤ Next week, the Kenosha Coalition for Dismantling Racism will co-lead another “Courageous Conversation” ⏤ this time focusing on racism in faith communities.

The panel discussion, held virtually at 6:30 p.m. on March 25, will focus on how racism in faith communities affects attitudes and also behaviors.

The coalition and Carthage College are co-sponsoring the two-hour event, titled “Beyond Denial: Racism in Faith Communities”

Rev. Jim Lynch and coalition member Alex Whitaker will co-moderate the discussion, according to coalition organizing committee member Mary Curran Rhodes.

Since it is a virtual event, those wishing to watch can do so via Zoom. You can find that link by visiting https://www.carthage.edu/equity-inclusion/events/red-bracelet-project/ and scrolling down to March 25.

Residents can also view the event on the coalition’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KenoshaCFDR.

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The panelists the coalition chose

Seven panelists from a variety of faith backgrounds will be exploring the topic during the March 25 discussion, according to information Rhodes sent the Observer. 

Those panelists include:

1. Pastor Kara Baylor Carthage College, ELCA (Christianity);

2. Porche Bennett-Bey, Moorish Science Temple of America (Islam);

3. Rev. Dr. Monica Cummings, Bradford Community Church (Unitarianism);

4. Jay English, Journey Church Assembly of God (Christianity);

5. Rabbi Dena Feingold, Beth Hillel Temple (Judaism);

6. Mary Curran Rhodes, The Baha’i Faith (Baha’i);

7. And Minister/Rev. Patrick Roberts, First Baptist Church (Christianity).

“When we consider the many kinds of structural racism in our society, we must include the racism inherent in our faith communities,” said Feingold, chair of the organizing committee. 

“During this Courageous Conversation, representatives of several faiths will explore this reality and suggest ways that their communities are seeking to move beyond denial to a better, more inclusive future.”

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Race and religion interwoven

Baylor thinks it is always wonderful when Carthage students and community members have conversations like this with one another.

“I hope it models for students that there are ways to work towards social justice in both their faith life and different phrases of their adult life,” Baylor said. 

Furthermore, Adelene Greene, co-founder of the CFDR, believes that the roles of race and religion are interwoven.

“Many people of faith profess to be of good heart and of good intention, but oftentimes religious beliefs serve to separate us and create more division,” Greene said.

“The March 25th Courageous Conversation will explore how religions differ in their beliefs, and how this plays into the complicity and perpetuation of racism.”

For more information, contact Rhodes by emailing mary.rhodes@gmail.com. You may also call her at 847-702-2656.


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