Skip to Main Content

Workshop equips youth leaders to teach anti-racism

Posted: April 25 2024 at 06:28 AM
Author: Al Benson


Day Anti Racism 1 Cymk

Chicago and suburban church youth leaders gathered at Wesley United Methodist Church in Aurora on April 13 to explore laying the groundwork for friendships and alliances to fight racism.  

"Becoming the Beloved Community: Disciplining Anti-Racist Youth,"  a morning workshop, was presented by the Anti-Racism Task Force of the Northern Illinois Conference. It was developed specifically for leaders of youth based on the Becoming Beloved Community Workshop that is offered to churches.

Day Anti Racism 3 Cymk

Rev. Matthew Krings, pastor at Berry UMC in Chicago and a task force member, welcomed participants. He said the workshop aims to provide a deeply reflective and contemplative discernment about systemic racism and ways to address it.  

The workshop facilitator was Richard R. Guzman, professor emeritus at North Central College in Naperville and a member of the conference ARTF.  

“This workshop conveys facts and essential knowledge about race and racism,” Guzman said. “We seek to help participants experience some of the harm and hurt racial prejudice has caused.  

Day Anti Racism 2 Cymk

“The workshop emphasizes engagement, not confrontation. To make progress on race, we have to stay engaged, even with people we disagree with.” 

Trained facilitators led story sharing, helping people connect personally with presentations. Small-group discussions followed presentations. 

Guzman added that the program re-balances views of the personal vs. the systemic. “Though we talk about the harm personal racism causes, we also have to become aware of systems,” Guzman said. 

Relationships are paramount, he emphasized. Through friendships and alliances, people can unite to counter racism. The workshop is respectful while confronting hard issues. Guzman concluded. 

The program was launched by a pilot workshop for churches in 2021 at Friendship UMC in Bolingbrook. Other churches hosting the workshop are North Shore UMC, First UMC in Glencoe, First UMC in Elmhurst, and First UMC in Elgin. 

Part 2 of the workshop will be happening on May 18. All are welcome (no need to have attended part 1). Learn more

Learn more about the Becoming Beloved Community Workshop

News & Announcements

Bishop Palmer Laughing Ncj2024sqshopped

Bishop Schwerin Extols the Courage of Retiring Bishops Palmer and Trimble

In his sermon honoring retiring Bishops Trimble and Palmer, Bishop Schwerin said that what he most appreciates about them—besides their tireless passio…

2024 Cob Assigned B50percent

NCJ Bishop Assignments Announced

The North Central Jurisdiction, meeting in conference in Sioux Falls, SD, announced the assignments of six bishops, effective Sept. 1, 2024.

Schwerindanncj2024 Waist Up 1

Bishop Dan Schwerin Assigned to Northern Illinois-Wisconsin Episcopal Area as of Sept. 1

Bishop Dan Schwerin has been assigned to serve Northern Illinois-Wisconsin Episcopal Area as bishop, effective Sept. 1, 2024.

Pexels Markusspiske 2027059

LGBTQ+ delegates applaud change, but ‘there's still work to do’

General Conference 2024 was a good start toward full inclusion of LGBTQ+ people, North Central Jurisdiction delegates say. But there is still work to be done.…

Print