Practical Resources to Embrace Anti Racism

When persons unite as members with a local United Methodist church, they profess their faith in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; in Jesus Christ his only Son, and in the Holy Spirit. Thus, they make known their desire to live their daily lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. They covenant together with God and with the members of the local church to keep the vows which are a part of the order of confirmation and reception into the Church:

1. To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of their sin;

2. To accept the freedom and power God gives them to resist evil, injustice, and oppression;

3. To confess Jesus Christ as Savior, put their whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as their Lord;

4. To remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world;

5. To be loyal to Christ through The United Methodist Church and do all in their power to strengthen its ministries;

6. To faithfully participate in its ministries by their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness;

7. To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.



  • Pray about how you can speak up about injustice this week.
    • The United Methodist Baptismal Vows:

      On behalf of the whole Church, I ask you:
      Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness,
      reject the evil powers of this world,
      and repent of your sin?

      I do.

      Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you
      to resist evil, injustice, and oppression
      in whatever forms they present themselves?

      I do.

      Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior,
      put your whole trust in his grace,
      and promise to serve him as your Lord,
      in union with the Church which Christ has opened
      to people of all ages, nations, and races?

      I do.

  • Pray about how God is calling you to be more anti-racist.
    • [A Prayer written by the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team]

      Dear God, in our efforts to dismantle racism, we understand that we struggle not merely against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities – those institutions and systems that keep racism alive by perpetuating the lie that some members of the family are inferior and others superior.

      Create in us a new mind and heart that will enable us to see brothers and sisters in the faces of those divided by racial categories.

      Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlements to others.

      Help us to create a Church and nation that embraces the hopes and fears of oppressed People of Color where we live, as well as those around the world.

      Heal your family God, and make us one with you, in union with our brother Jesus, and empowered by your Holy Spirit.


  • Examine your implicit biases
    • "It isn't nice to think we aren't very nice."

      This quote from a Scientific American article on understanding implicit bias gets to the heart of why this is so difficult to talk about or to evaluate ourselves for.

      But implicit bias exists, and it's important to talk about it in terms of racism. You can't fix something about yourself if you don't realize it's broken.

      Implicit bias is a neutral term - our biases can be to see people in a positive light, as well as a negative. Implicit bias can mean we overgeneralize based on superficial things, such as skin color or profession.

      Studies show that job applicants with "white-sounding" names get more calls back than ones with "black-sounding" names, and college professors are more likely to respond quickly to "white-sounding" names. Physicians also tend to recommend less pain medication to black patients than white patients with the same injury.

      So how do we wrestle with our implicit biases?

      First, this Scientific American article outlines how implicit bias works and why it's important to recognize:

      How to Think about 'Implicit Bias'

      Second, get in the habit of making a conscious effort to evaluate your perspectives and decision-making to see if an implicit bias is swaying you one way or another. It's like exercising - if you get in the habit, it gets easier and easier to do.

      How to Fight Implicit Bias

      Unconscious Bias Training

      Think Twice, Think Inclusively

      Take some time today to examine your own implicit biases, and commit to stopping and thinking before making a judgment on people.

  • Pray about how God is calling you to act.
    • God of liberty and justice,
      who hears the silent tears of those wearied by continued inequality and violence:
      open the ears of everyone in our society to hear the truth of continued racism in this stony land,
      so that we may return to the places where we will meet you,
      places of love and respect for all your children;
      in the name of the One who was slaughtered for us, your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

      Drawing from “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
      Sr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson, OSL


  • Participate in intercultural conversations.
    • Intercultural (or cross-cultural) conversation is communication between individuals or groups of different cultural backgrounds. This is more than just sitting down and talking - it is coming to the conversation with a desire to respectfully learn about one another, particularly about the other person's culture.

      United Against Racism

  • Celebrate National Read-A-Book Day by purchasing an anti-racism resource.
    • Mirrors and windows.

      What does this have to do with books, you may ask?

      Books that are called "mirror books" reflect the person reading them - their race, culture, family background, etc. Books that are "window books" give readers a window into a culture or person that isn't like their own life.

      People need both kinds of books in their lives, which is why reading diverse books, as well as sharing them with our children and grandchildren, are so important.

      Check out the UMC Church and Society's page of books that reflect people's diversity and their sacred worth.

      Sacred Worth Books

  • Engage in the difficult conversation.
    • Nobody enjoys having difficult conversations, but sometimes they are necessary. When you are striving to be anti-racist, it can mean a lot of hard moments - from explaining racism and anti-racism to friends and family to intervening when someone is being racist.

      GCORR is offering a new course for people who want to be anti-racist, which will teach how to define, identify, and practice anti-racism. Follow this link to learn more:

      UMC's Commission on Religion and Race 

  • Be willing to be in the minority.
    • Take heed that what you sing with your mouths,
      you believe in your hearts,
      and what you believe in your hearts
      you show forth in your works.

      (Fourth Council of Carthage, 4th century)

  • Plan to participate in an anti-racism demonstration.
    • West Virginia's Interfaith Refugee Ministry was founded in 2015 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. In September, the WVUMC joins other churches in Welcoming Week.

      “Welcoming Week is a time to not only celebrate the values of equality and belonging, but to bring our communities together to live them in practice,” said Rachel Peric, executive director of Welcoming America.

      Below find an article about the 2020 Welcoming Week events:

      Welcoming Week 2020

  • Send your tithe or offering to a Black Church.
    • Support your brothers and sisters in Christ by sending your weekly tithe or offering to a Black Church near you.
  • Encourage an activist
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) - "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing."

      Words matter. Actions matter.

      Find a way today, whether through words or financial support or actions, to provide encouragement to an activist you know personally or follow online.

      God calls us to encourage one another and build one another up. Do it today!


  • Support diverse leadership: West Virginia Conference works with diverse people across the conference.
    • So why is diverse leadership important?

      God's kingdom is filled with diverse people of various races, cultures and ethnicities. Our leadership should reflect that.

      It is also a witness to those outside the church that all are welcome. Our leaders are very visible, and seeing diverse leaders can help those seeking Christ to feel welcome.

      West Virginia Conference works with diverse people across the conference. You can learn more about our WVUMC Ethnic Ministries here:

      Ethnic Ministries

  • Learn greetings and phrases in another language.
  • Listen to a preacher from a different cultural background than your own.
    • With so many churches recording and showing their services online, it's a great opportunity to take some time today and listen to some preachers of different cultural backgrounds!
  • Find a mentor who is from a different cultural background than your own.
    • When we look for a mentor, we often we look for someone that not only fulfills our real needs (such as the same type of business if you need a work-related mentor), but also our perceived connections - in other words, someone of the same culture and ethnicity.

      A mentoring relationship is based on connection, respect, trust, and commitment.

      Deliberately looking for a cross-cultural mentor forces us to look deeper than skin color, ethnicity, or culture for our connections, and enable us to discover what connects us is greater than what divides us.

      Going into a mentorship with an attitude of respect makes us more open to understanding different perspectives.

      Building trust with a mentor of another culture breaks down stereotypes and barriers that you may have unconsciously held onto or absorbed.

      And commitment to a cross-cultural mentoring relationship means you are also committed to a vision of deeper connections and leveling the playing field to people of various skin colors, ethnicities, and cultures.

      Is there someone in your life who could serve as a cross-cultural mentor? If not, seek out someone who would be willing to mentor you.

  • Engage with and invest in young leaders dedicated to anti-racism work
    • In the past few years, we've seen young people stepping up to raise their voices for what is important to them, including in anti-racism work.

      If there's a young leader in your community, engage with and invest in them... allow their voice to be heard and allow them to lead as God has called them.

      And if you are a young leader, remember what Paul said to Timothy, "Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." (1 Timothy 4:12, NLT)

      Curious about what some young leaders are doing around the United States? Here's a list of some young leaders who have made a difference already...

      Meet Young Activists Fighting Racial Injustice

      Young Black Activists to Follow on Social Media

  • Support Black artists and musicians.
  • Amplify the voices of People of Color by inviting them as speakers at worship and other events.
    • Make a deliberate effort to invite People of Color to speak at your church, whether at worship or a Bible study or a special service.

      Also, think of the possibilities with the current move to virtual worship, Bible studies, and Sunday School - you can invite speakers without concern about travel!

      "Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." Philippians 2:4 (NLT)


  • Volunteer or donate in support of your local food pantry. All of our Mission Projects provide food and resources for those in need, regardless of race, gender or age.

    Hunger can come for many reasons: illness, a loss of a job, natural disasters, or a change in other life circumstances. Many food banks offer educational opportunities to help people restart their lives, and many of those who regain their footing return to volunteer at the food banks that helped them.

    Volunteer or donate in support of your local food pantry. All of our WVUMC Mission Projects provide food and resources for those in need, regardless of race, gender or age.

    Follow the link for more information about WVUMC Mission Projects.

  • Support a local Black-owned business.
  • Engage in local community organizing.
    • Transformation through community organization.

      We tend to think of transformation as an organic concept. We also talk a lot about personal transformation - there are thousands of resources out there about how to change your life.

      But what about changing your community for the better, by organizing a group (or joining an organization) that wants to make their community a place one that upholds racial and social justice?

      Today, think about how you can engage in some organization and transformation - the community kind.

  • Celebrate National Voter Registration Day by registering to vote and helping another person to register
    • Every voice is important, and voting is a way to make your voice heard.

      Make sure you are registered to vote! A policy in 2018 allowed states to purge people from their voting register if some elections were skipped, so make sure you can vote when you get to the polls.

      If you are safely registered, make sure others are too, and help them get registered if they need the assistance. (And in November, make sure these same people have a way to get to their polling place!)

  • Support non-profits engaged in the work of anti-racism.
    • Nonprofits need support, both with volunteers and financially. You can do an internet search for "[your state] nonprofit anti-racism work" or do a national search for the same!

      To get you started:

      WVUMC, through the West Virginia Council of Churches, is a Community Partner with CARE Coalition WV, which stands for Call to Action for Racial Equity. The CARE Coalition works to combat systemic racism in the Mountain State through community organizing, youth leadership and policy change.

      Care Coalition WV

      Or do some research to find a nonprofit that does the work of anti-racism that you can connect with!

  • Learn more about your local elections.
    • There's a lot of focus on the "big" elections, but local elections are just as important for racial and social justice.

      The local government has a huge influence on the community, and those voted in will determine where taxpayer money goes and where they will use their influence. They will determine where your community's priorities are about issues such as:

      - Local school quality
      - Deciding sanctuary jurisdiction status
      - Policing and public safety (and holding police accountable)
      - Rent costs and affordable housing
      - Public transit

      and many, many other community issues.

      So today, make a commitment to educate yourself on your local politicians, and who and what is on your ballot.


  • Draft your racial autobiography
    • Have you ever heard of a racial autobiography?

      It's a time when you take a serious look at your life, past and present, in order to think about how race and racism have had an impact on your life.

      Some of the questions you can ask yourself are:

      Family history - Did your parents grow up exposed to racial groups other than their own? Did you ever talk with your parents about racism and race relations?

      Growing up - what color were the angels in Sunday School handouts? What color was Santa or the tooth fairy or dolls? Did you ever hear racial slurs?

      Now - What is the racial makeup of where you work now? What about your friend circle?

      What's the most important encounter or image you've had in regard to race?

      Find more valuable questions at this link, and take some time today to ponder your racial autobiography.

      Racial Autobiography Prompts

  • Commit to continued learning in celebration of National Online Learning Day.
    • One of the best things about the internet is the accessibility of many amazing resources. Take advantage of some of them today to learn more about racism and how to be an anti-racist.

      GCORR offers a great online course titled "You Are Here," which teaches about race and racism from a Biblical perspective. Here's the link:

      You Are Here

  • Recognize racism in your community.
    • Sometimes racism in a community is loud and blatant, such as someone calling the cops on a person in their neighborhood (such as a jogger) because of the color of their skin.

      Sometimes racism in a community is more subtle, like someone talking about how the neighborhood has "gone downhill lately" (because of who has moved into the neighborhood) or someone expressing surprise when a person of color doesn't fit their stereotyped idea.

      So how can you recognize (and combat) racism in your community:

      1) Overcome your fear and speak up. Asking someone why they think the neighborhood has gone downhill can spark a conversation and possibly help the other person recognize their racism.

      2) Help organize community events that embrace everyone. One of the greatest ways to overcome racism is for people to truly get to know each other. Once it's safe to gather in groups, consider having a community dinner... and the only rule is that you have to sit by someone you don't know.

      3) Teach acceptance to the children in your lives (your children, grandchildren, nieces/nephews) and offer resources to teachers and schools. Studies show biases are often learned by age 3, but schools place children on an equal footing. Take advantage of the natural curiosity of children to teach them to accept other people who don't look like them and may have different cultural practices.

      How can you recognize racism in your community, and work to make a change?

  • Learn about Hispanic Heritage Month.
    • Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15 through October 15.

      Do you know why it begins in the middle of the month? September 15 is Independence Day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and throughout the month (to October 15), the independence days of Mexico and Chile fall (plus Dia de la Raza - Day of the Race/People).

      Whether or not you are of Hispanic heritage, you can celebrate and honor Hispanic culture!

      Share in the comments below how you're celebrating Hispanic Heritage month!

      Here are some ideas to get you started:

      - Learn about Hispanic people who have made contributions to the world in some way. Pedro Flores invented the yo-yo! Ellen Ochoa was the first Hispanic astronaut.

      - Take some time to appreciate Hispanic art, Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso are the most famous Hispanic artists.

      - Read Hispanic literature, authors like Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

      - Listen to the music of Hispanic performers! In addition to great Hispanic pop music performers, Hispanic music includes salsa, tango, bachata...

      - Research Hispanic-American history - Do you know who the first Hispanic US Senator was?

      - Have fun! Pick a Hispanic cultural tradition to try, such as Toma Todo (a game from Mexico), the always classic pinata, or learn a few Spanish words!

      - Travel to a Hispanic country or visit a site of importance in the US (but only when it's safe!). Or take a virtual trip by exploring places online.

      - And what's a list without food - try a new recipe and make some Hispanic food! Go for a well-known item like tortillas or tamales... or have some fun and make pupusa (from El Salvador), picadillo (from Cuba), or paella (from Spain)!

  • Watch a documentary film or series about anti-racism.
  • Commit to continuing the work of anti-racism 
    • It's appropriate that the final day of the 30 Days of Anti-Racism falls on National Love People Day.

      The purpose of National Love People Day is to give unconditional love to all people, to "love your neighbor as yourself" as Mark 12:31 says. And part of loving other people may mean stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking extra steps to be an anti-racist person.

      In the past month, we've used GCORR's (General Commission on Religion and Race) 30 Days of Anti-Racism to explore various ways that we can pray, examine ourselves, and act.

      But at the heart of it all is loving our neighbor, as Jesus commanded.