Sacred Solidarity Network 101

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About Course

This is an introductory course for people who are part of a faith and spiritual community. It provides grounding in the basic principles and shared understanding needed to dismantle white supremacy culture within our institutions. The purpose of this course is to help all members of a community’s racial justice team, board or governance body come to the work with a foundation of shared knowledge and personal reflection on how systems of oppression affect privilege and power at many levels.

The lessons are framed in a religious and spiritual context. The instructors and contributors come from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Unitarian Universalist backgrounds.

This online learning environment includes didactic video presentations and downloadable PDF files with reference content and “homework.” It includes Modules 1-3 of the course. Modules 4-5 will be presented “live” through Zoom and give a cohort time to be together for shared learning and exercises.

We welcome any and all questions through the platform’s Q&A feature! As this is an initial roll-out of our virtual/hybrid SSN curriculum, we also appreciate your grace and your feedback. It is good to be on this journey with you as we work to create racially just communities and world.

In faith and solidarity,

The Sacred Solidarity Network 101 Core Teaching Team:
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel, Rev. Dana Neuhauser, Rev. Terri Burnor

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Course Content

Module 1: Social Location
Learning objectives: Help people see that everyone has a social location and that our individual identities are connected to systems of oppression. Everyone has multiple identities and we have complex relationships to systems of power.

  • #1 – Welcome
  • #2 – Personal Identity
  • #3 – Personal/Theological Context – Doctrine of Discovery
  • #4 – Manifestations of Oppression
  • #5 – Exploring Power (part 1)
  • #6 – Exploring Power (part 2)
  • #7 – Flower of Power
  • #8 – The Souls of White Folks
  • #9 – Privilege and Disavowing Solidarity

Module 2: Personal & Family History
Learning objectives: Help people see their individual selves as embedded in systems and in one’s familial history. Individual and racial/religious/class identities are impacted by systems. Start to make the connections between our own embodiment and the ways in which we’ve been shaped—culturally, socially, spiritually, bodily—by white supremacy culture. The ways we’ve been socialized by our family, neighborhood and institutions.

Module 3: Systemic White Supremacy & White Supremacy Culture
Learning objectives: Help participants make the connection between the system of white supremacy and the culture, processes, mores, policies, etc of their local congregation/community. Also, help participants make the connection to the ways in which we, personally, are shaped and formed and operate within white supremacy culture. We can’t (solely) read or think our way out of white supremacy. Lessons for this module are coming.