Bridgetown & Racial Justice
In Jesus we see a God who experiences anger at the evil in our world, who establishes justice and righteousness, and who works on behalf of the oppressed. We also see in Jesus a God who listens intently, grieves deeply, and weeps. As apprentices of Jesus, we aim to follow his example.
The largely unacknowledged and unhealed wounds of our country are festering right now. This is not new pain – it’s existed since the inception of our country without ever having received proper remedy. We deeply grieve the centuries of oppression, violence, and trauma known by our sisters and brothers of color, and in particular right now, our Black and Brown sisters and brothers. White sisters and brothers, we grieve over our complacency and silence that has allowed complicity with systemic and institutionalized racism in America and within the church.
Portland’s Racist History
Portland has a deep and ugly history of racism, one that we for too long have chosen to ignore. We are determined in this moment to lament with and listen to our Black and Brown brothers and sisters, and to learn more about and recognize racism in our present and past.
Give To Organizations Making Change
HOLLA: Mentors who exist to empower Black and Brown youth in Portland, representing and learning alongside them because the time for Black and Brown leaders is now.
African Family Holistic Health Organization: Created in 2014 in part by Portland’s Swahili-speaking, community health workers seeking to improve their community’s health through peer health education and increased access to health resources.
Know Me Now: Aims to reduce prison-return rates in Oregon by building family-centric support systems that empower the transitioning person’s right to change, grow, and enhance their legacy.
Equal Justice Initiative: Challenges excessive punishment in court, advocates for parole, provides re-entry support, and advances systemic reform through research, education, and narrative work.
Be the Bridge: Works to empower people and culture toward racial healing, equity, and reconciliation. We encourage you to spend some time exploring all their content, as there are many more great resources there.
Resources for the Journey
Choose from these resources to learn more about racial reconciliation and healing. This list is by no means exhaustive, as we know there are specific histories and experiences not included. There is much we have yet to learn and this is only a start. For those of us in particular who are new to the lifelong journey, we want to collectively slow down, humble ourselves before the Lord, listen, and learn. Learn from these books, articles, and films as you discover more about the Black and Brown experience in America. Listen to voices of color as they share the ways in which we can all contribute to rebuilding.