Drake Professor to Address the Repair of a Racially Unjust America
In the view of the United Nations and the U.S. Human Rights Network, "discrimination in the United States permeates all aspects of life and extends to all communities of color.” While the nature of the views held by average Americans has changed significantly over the past several decades, surveys by organizations such as ABC News have found that even in modern America, large sections of Americans admit to holding discriminatory viewpoints. People who are white who acknowledge that racial inequality is a problem are often unsure about how to respond even when they want to be a part of the solution.
Drake University Professor of Religion, Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey, will address this issue on Tuesday, September 24 in a presentation in Clinton entitled, “Which Way to Peace: A Dialogue about Race, Racism, and the Work of Repair.” The event, which is sponsored by the Franciscan Peace Center, will be held at Clinton Community College, 1000 Lincoln Blvd. in Clinton at 7:00 PM. Admission is free and is being held to recognize the annual International Day of Peace as well as Campaign Nonviolence.
In addition to her academic role, Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey also serves as Faculty Director for the Crew Scholars Program at Drake. She has a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Her work focuses primarily on racial justice and white anti-racism. Dr. Harvey's most recent books include Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in Racially Unjust America (Abingdon Press) and Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation (Wm. B. Eerdmans). Dr. Harvey has contributed to the New York Times, CNN and been a guest on both Iowa and National Public Radio (including NPR’s “It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders”). She is a widely sought after public speaker and is ordained in the American Baptist Churches (USA).
Liberal and conservative Christians are having “totally different conversations” about religious freedom and the government’s role in society because the two sides think about key concepts like responsibility and sin in such different ways, says Harvey. Christians on the left view society’s ills through a “collectivist” lens, she said, while those on the right typically see the same problems in individualistic terms. “We’re vexed,” she says, “because…such human rights catastrophes present themselves as difficult political or partisan differences.”
The International Day of Peace will also be marked by a day of prayer at The Canticle, home of the Sisters of St. Francis, at 841 Thirteenth Avenue North in Clinton. The public is welcome to attend at any time between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. The Clinton Franciscans have sponsored a local observance of the International Day of Peace at The Canticle every year since 2001.
Campaign Nonviolence is a grassroots movement to mainstream active nonviolence using the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. that calls us to become people of nonviolence and to resolve personal and global conflicts nonviolently.
Every year, Campaign Nonviolence organizes a national week of action across the United States and around the world, built around September 21st, International Day of Peace. Over the past few years, Pace Bene has organized national grassroots actions in every state where people connect the dots between the issues of injustice and violence, including war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction, and hold public events, actions, and marches demanding positive social change. Organizers believe that the only way positive social change has ever happened in the US is from bottom up using grassroots movements of nonviolence.
This year’s Campaign Nonviolence National Week of Action is scheduled for September 14-22. Planners hope participants will use the week as an organizing tool, to get the movement moving, to invite people of all walks of life to take to the streets against violence and injustice, and to carry on Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision of what we could become, a new culture of nonviolence.
The Franciscan Peace Center was established by the Sisters of St. Francis as means for integrating Franciscan spirituality with the mission of promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking, as well as advocating for social justice issues and care for the earth. Most recently, the Center has focused on immigration reform, human trafficking, abolition of the death penalty, domestic violence and sexual assault, poverty, environmental concerns, and active nonviolence. More information is available at www.ClintonFranciscans.com.