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UMW hosts racial justice workshop

Workshop leaders

Seventy-eight persons gathered in Detroit on November 9 to participate in a workshop experience being tried by United Methodist Women worldwide.


KAY KORNS

Greater Detroit District UMW, President

Greater Detroit District United Methodist Women was selected by United Methodist Women worldwide to be one of two districts in the United States to host a pilot workshop on Racial Justice.

The Diversity/Equity/Inclusive Workshop was held at Ferndale First United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 9, 2019. The presenters from the National UMW Staff Leadership Team were Sally Vonner, president of the Leadership Team, and Emily Jones, Executive for Racial Justice.

Devotions were based on John 8:31-36, a passage that includes the text:  “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 

National leaders, Sally and Emily, provided an overview of “The Charter for Racial Justice “and the “Racial Justice Timeline” which includes racial justice history in the United States and for United Methodist Women.

Six districts of the Michigan Conference were represented by 76 women and two male pastors at the three-hour workshop.

Sally Vonner leads the workshop.
Small groups dialogue during the Racial Justice Workshop under the leadership of Sally Vonner and Emily Jones on November 9, 2019. ~ photo courtesy

Discussions included:

  • Leaders and members in districts with nearly all “white” members seldom or rarely consider getting a person of color as speaker or presenter;
  • in a district of both groups, it seems harder to get “white” women to run for leadership positions;
  • when a program or event is held at a church in the inner-city, members from predominately “white” suburbs are less likely to attend;
  • this workshop should be presented in every district and, if possible, in every United Methodist Church.

The most important point made: Discrimination/Racism is a Sin!