Racial Equity Buddies and Equity Book Club
Racial Equity Buddies and the Equity Book Club are designed to combat individual and structural racism. Regarding individual racism, equity buddies pair up and agree to meet consistently to confidentially discuss racism and other sensitive equity issues.
Books explored by the Equity Book Club often provide material used as foundations or springboards for individual buddy discussions.
Participants believe that these “sacred conversations” will transfer to the groups, institutions, and churches in which the buddies are involved. Hopefully, this action can move such organizations to more progressive positions and the adoption of anti-racist policies and practices.
Buddies are also encouraged to participate in anti-racist activities: voting and protecting voting rights, supporting progressive legislation, letter-writing, and attending vigils and protests that support anti-racist policies. Forest Hill Church’s Buddies and Book Club members also partner with other churches, organizations, and groups whose objectives are dismantling structural racism and supporting other equity issues.
Participants in the Racial Equity Buddies and Equity Book Club believe such conversations AND actions are a prerequisite to establishing the Beloved Community of which Dr. King so lovingly and boldly spoke; a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings.
How It Works
The Equity Book Club works in conjunction with the equity buddy system. Generally, five books a year are read and discussed via Zoom. The Equity Book Club is much more than a discussion group. Rather, it is a think tank for analyzing history to determine a path forward to address racist policies and practices locally, state-wide, and nationally. Its guiding principle is from the Foreword to acclaimed author Jemar Tisby’s book, The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism:
Education should lead to informed action, and informed action should lead to liberation, justice, and repair.
The History of our Racial Equity Buddies Program
The Racial Equity Buddies concept was introduced to FHC several years ago by Dr. Mark L. Joseph, Professor in Community Development at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University.
Then, in 2023, FHC welcomed The First Congregational Church of Hudson (UCC) as a co-sponsor of the Racial Equity Buddies and Equity Book Club. (Additional partners are always welcomed.)
This is a list of books read and discussed from 2020-2023:
- Strength to Love, a collection of sermons by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- How to be an Antiracist, Ibram Kendi
- The Origin of Others, Toni Morrison
- The Color of Complicity: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, Jemar Tisby
- White Rage, Dr. Carol Anderson
- Caste, Isabel Wilkerson
- How the Word is Passed, Clint Smith
- The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans – and How We Can Fix It, Dr. Dorothy Brown
- Some of My Friends Are…The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships, Dr. Deborah Plummer
- Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation, Latasha Morrison
- Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
- Black Women’s History in the United States, Daina Ramey Berry & Nicole Gross
- African People in World History, John Henrik Clarke
- One Person, No Vote, Dr. Carol Anderson