Racism, like many other oppressions, has long held a tenacious grip on our society.
In high school I become friends with a Black student and read James Baldwin for the first time; my awareness starts to widen. In college I seek out the classes I am hungering for, and I end up earning a concentration in African American Studies. During my junior year in college, I attend Howard University for a semester — it’s my first experience with being in the numerical minority.
Since college I have known in my bones how important it is for me, as a white person, to work towards dismantling racially oppressive structures in our society, particularly when moving within mostly white environments.
I acknowledge my identities which are privileged in this world: white, cisgender, able-bodied, middle-class, highly educated, English-speaking, U.S. citizen, and legally married. I also am aware of the systems which marginalize some of my identities, including being female and in a same-sex relationship. Given my lived experience, I continue to work towards creating more liberation for myself as well as for everyone in the world.
Dismantling supremacy culture while simultaneously creating justice requires ongoing collective effort. Because no single person can make justice alone, we are called to intentionally build coalitions. I have found that building relationships across difference is both uncomfortable and enlivening.
As I lean more fully into the anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural richness of my ministry, I practice
- embracing conflict, discomfort, and imperfection in service to our collective liberation,
- humbly partnering with others as we excavate oppressive processes in ourselves and in the institutions of our lives, and
- co-creating joy and beauty in the process of expanding justice.
“Carin has been thoughtful and prophetic in imagining the future of our faith. She brings a depth of insight into radical welcome and is courageous in her advocating for dismantling white supremacy culture within our tradition and our congregations.”